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    UAF hockey team quarantined after player tests positive for COVID-19 following off-campus gathering

    The entire University of Alaska Fairbanks hockey team is in quarantine because at least one player has tested positive for COVID-19 following an off-campus social gathering Aug. 22 attended by several student athletes.

    UAF Chancellor Dan White and Vice Chancellor Keith Champagne announced the hockey team’s quarantine at a Saturday news conference. White also said student athletes from other unspecified sports were also in isolation because they also were at the private event held at the home of one of the Nanook hockey players.

    “Because the hockey team, as a team, the possibility of having had close interactions, that team was put into quarantine as a precaution,” White said in the news conference held by video.

    “That’s not to say, though, that the whole team was at that gathering, but that team has been interacting over the last couple weeks and there’s the potential they would have been in what’s called close contact in the last couple weeks.

    “And that team for that reason was quarantined ,” he said.

    Twenty-one players on the hockey roster are in 14-day quarantine, as are six other student athletes. It was not immediately clear when the quarantine began or whether any of the coaching staff is in quarantine,

    In an email notice sent to wide UAF community Saturday, White wrote that, “Several individuals who attended this event have since tested positive for COVID-19. As a result of this, a number of our students are in quarantine; two of them, because they tested COVID-19 positive, are in isolation.”

    Seven student athletes tested positive for COVID-19 in the seven days following the Aug. 22 gathering, according to information provided by UAF spokeswoman Marmian Grimes later Saturday. She cautioned that UAF does not know whether students contracted the virus at that event.

    The number of hockey players and other student athletes who attended the party wasn’t available during the news conference.

    “I think it’s our expectation that there were multiple student athletes, but the exact number is a number that the contact tracers have,” White said “We know there were multiple athletes. What specific sports , I don’t have exact numbers with me on which sports were represented

    Champagne, when asked if any coaches or UAF supervisory staff were at the gathering, said, “Absolutely not. No official athletics coaches or staff were present at this gathering.”

    Champagne called the gathering an episode of “poor judgment” by students.

    “We do have a student conduct process that is done through our Center for Student Rights and Responsibilities, and they are currently investigating,” he said. “We do entitle students to their rights of full due process as we conduct our investigation.

    “Upon conclusion of the investigation, then the Center for Student Rights and Responsibilities will meet with the students involved, and they will decide what university regulations and or mandates were violated,” he said.

    Students could receive a verbal warning or be suspended or expelled from UAF, Champagne said.

    In another incident, UAF also distributed a campus alert regarding a person at the Student Recreation Center who tested positive for COVID-19 and warning that anyone who was at the center on the following dates and times may be a close contact of the infected person: Friday, Aug. 21, 9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 22, 6:30-10 p.m.; Sunday, Aug. 23, 2-7 p.m.; Monday, Aug. 24, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Tuesday, Aug. 25, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

    Overall, White said 37 students, including the student athletes, are in quarantine. Six students have tested positive for the virus.

    Contact Editor Rod Boyce at 459-7585. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMeditor.

  • #2
    UAF hockey team in quarantine after 6 players test positive for COVID-19

    Author: Beth Bragg/Anchorage Daily News

    The entire University of Alaska Fairbanks hockey team is either in quarantine or isolation after at least one player tested positive for COVID-19 after attending an off-campus party, UAF administrators said Saturday.

    In total, six hockey players and an athlete from another UAF team have tested positive for the disease in the days after the Aug. 22 party, and they are now in isolation.

    Another 21 hockey players plus six other athletes and head hockey coach Erik Largen are quarantined until at least Sept. 5 because of their exposure to those with COVID-19, the school said.

    Multiple athletes from multiple sports attended the party, UAF chancellor Dan White said during an afternoon media briefing.

    “It was poor judgment,” Nanooks athletic director Keith Champagne said.

    The school said it doesn’t know if all the athletes who tested positive also attended the party, and that any connection between the cases remains unclear at this time.

    UAF also doesn’t know if the entire hockey team was at the party, but all of the players are in quarantine because they have been in close contact with each other, CHe said students this school year are expected to abide by school policies subjecting them to all federal, state, local and university mandates and protocol regarding COVID-19. Students living on campus must sign a pledge agreeing to those mandates and guidelines, he said.

    In the section covering activities and socializing, the pledge said social distancing doesn’t just mean staying 6 feet away from people: “It means keeping your social circles small and consistent and avoiding large gatherings of people. It means meeting virtually when possible and limiting the number of times you visit public places.”

    Champagne said the majority of the hockey players who tested positive have moved into Stevens Hall, which is being used for on-campus residents who have COVID-19. Those who live off-campus will isolate at their residences.

    A total of 15 UAF students are currently isolated with COVID-19 and another 37 are currently quarantined because they have been exposed to the virus, the school said.

    No coaches were at the party, administrators said, but Largen is also quarantined because he’s been in close contact with the players.

    Additionally, UAF sent a message to Student Recreation Center users outlining dates and times — from Aug. 21 to 25 — of potential exposure at the center to someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

    Those who went to the party could face discipline if it’s determined they violated university rules or mandates about COVID-19. The school’s Center for Student Rights and Responsibilities is investigating, and discipline could range from verbal warnings to suspension or expulsion, Champagne said.

    The Nanooks aren’t expected to play any games until late this year or early next year, because the pandemic has caused delays to college sports across the nation, White said. Sports facilities won’t be available to UAF teams until after Labor Day.

    [Because of a high volume of comments requiring moderation, we are temporarily disabling comments on many of our articles so editors can focus on the coronavirus crisis and other coverage. We invite you to write a letter to the editor or reach out directly if you’d like to communicate with us about a particular article. Thanks.]


    • #3
      This just in: students at the traditional college age make foolish decisions!

      Hopefully everyone will learn their lesson without any adverse physical effects to anyone.

      Geof F. Morris
      UAH BSE MAE 2002