Cases in athletics prompt for game, practice schedule changes

With many rumors swirling around campus about what the reasoning was for changing from Level Orange to Level Pink, Hastings College Athletic Director B.J. Pumroy explained that it had more to do with making sure that HC had enough housing for the students that needed to be in quarantine.

“It was basically we’re having some shortage on our housing for those who needed quarantine in isolation housing played a large role in it. And we didn’t have many positive cases, but we had a lot of unknowns and some of the testing we were waiting to get back. And depending on how some of those went it could have put us in a rougher spot on dealing with the availability for medical housing,” Pumroy said.

Following positive tests from an HC baseball player, an HC volleyball team member and a positive test from a member of their opponent, Doane, which they played on Sept. 24, HC decided to slow things down to minimize the spread of the virus. 

HC decided to go from Level Orange to Level Pink on Sept. 28. As for  reported cases during that time, HC had six positive cases, 38 students in isolation and 22 students in quarantine.

HC Volleyball Head Coach Alex Allard said she was notified that one of her players and a Doane player tested  positive on Oct. 24, the day after they played each other.

“It first started with getting the whole team and staff tested and we all had to be in isolation for the next four days ‘till we received results. All other players (with exception of the one positive player) and all of my staff received negative test results, but we were still told to isolate. A few days later the Covid case manager came back and told us that the state and health department decided it was best to quarantine,” Allard said.

According to Pumroy, each institution determines what is best for their situation. The mandate is that if you have a positive test and you played someone within 48 hours, you alert the opposing team that you played within that time period.

As for the HC Volleyball team, which is currently 4-2 overall and 3-1 in conference, they will return to practice and other team activities on Oct. 8, which will mark two weeks’ worth of quarantine. The Broncos had to reschedule four matches, but Allard is thankful for the break in the schedule.

“I’m thankful for how things have worked out with scheduling — not having a game for a few weeks — because taking two weeks off of any sport can really impact athletes physically. We will now have the time to get our team back to competition shape and are excited about the rest of this season,” Allard said.

HC returned to Level Orange on Oct. 4 as the number of individuals who tested positive remained at six. While there is always a chance that HC will have a breakout of COVID-19 cases again this semester that’ll lead to temporary on-campus changes, Pumroy sees that as less likely.

“I don’t necessarily know if I expect that to happen, but I think in any case, the decisions made are always going to be in the best interest of the campus. So the more times that we have positive cases and have to try to figure out when that contact spreads, the more times you’re going to be in decision-making standpoints, but I wouldn’t necessarily expect that it’ll come up again,” Pumroy said.