First week of practice turns into two weeks in quarantine

Margaret Cecilio

After their first week of practice, a member of the women’s basketball team tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, the whole team moved into a two week quarantine.
Augustana’s athletic teams have been routinely testing 25 percent of each team that are classified as medium or high contact sports, in accordance with the NCAA resocialization of sport guidelines. 
The ability to continue to practice and train together is reliant on the safety and health of each player and coach. Although there are ways to greatly minimize the likelihood of getting COVID, Mike Zapolski, Augustana’s athletic director, said nothing can prevent it completely.
 “At the end of the day, you know, we’re also dealing with a virus that you can’t see, and there’s so many different things that could happen or go haywire,” Zapolski said.
One player on the women’s basketball team had received test results that she was negative for COVID, and later went to a team practice as usual. However, after this practice, she received another call that informed her that the test was actually positive, and that she needed to be in quarantine. Unfortunately, because she was at practice, the rest of the team would also need to quarantine for two weeks after the direct exposure. 
The team was supposed to start practicing for the season last week, but that has been put on hold. Daina Riser, junior, reflected on the situation and the effect it has on the team.
“This will cause the players to take [COVID-19] a little more seriously seeing how this affects everyone right when we were supposed to start practicing,” Riser said. “We only have a limited amount of time that we are allowed to practice and we are losing about a week of that valued time.” 
“Our goal collectively at Augustana is that we want to have our students remain on campus, all the way through Thanksgiving,” Zapolski said. “And we want our student athletes to be able to be involved with their teammates and with their coaches, as long as possible.”  
Reaching this goal requires the active participation of all athletes and coaches by continuing to wear masks, minimizing social circles and upholding all the modifications for play. 
“I would just really like to encourage the athletes, specifically at Augie, to be better. We’re the ones that want to have a season, so we need to be taking every precaution necessary,” Cassie Kruse, junior on the team, said.