Basketball season cut short as player tests positive for COVID-19

Charlotte Elliott, Sports Editor

This year’s season has come to a premature end for the men’s and women’s basketball teams after a member of the women’s team tested positive for COVID-19.

Initial confusion about COVID-19 policy for athletes led to the women’s team not immediately being put into quarantine, instead being advised to continue as normal. Communications Director Gina Ohnstad explained that this was due to stricter rules athletes have been required to follow anyway.

“Because athletic teams are already more restricted than the general student population, meaning they only interact with each other, athletes were initially instructed that they would not have further restrictions,” Ohnstad said. “However, college COVID policies state that anyone who has had close contact with a positive COVID case must be quarantined.”

Both the men and women’s basketball teams are tested three to four times a week due to the high-risk nature of the sport and the travel involved. Sophomore Caira Young, a member of the women’s basketball team, believes Whitman has done a good job in handling the safety of athletes.

“I think that our college handled certain precautions in a decent way when it comes to testing because it did help keep people safe,” Young said.

This will be the second season in a row to be cut short for Whitman’s basketball teams, but sophomore Megan Taylor is more concerned about the safety of her teammate and other students and staff involved with Whitman athletics.

“It’s unfortunate that our season got cut short due to COVID-19 two seasons in a row, but we recognize how important it is to take these health and safety precautions to ensure the safety of ourselves and our peers,” Taylor said. “Our hearts go out to her [our teammate], and we hope she recovers quickly.”

Whitman has now corrected the initial error made with the COVID-19 protocol and all close contacts with the positive athlete are now quarantining in accordance with the college’s policies.