Editor's Note: A previous version of this story stated that the student showed up at practice with a fever. The information we received here was wrong and the story was updated.
WAYNE, NJ – One of the players vying to make the Wayne Valley High School Girls Volleyball team this fall recently tested positive for COVID-19. According to Head Coach Jason Carcich, the team has been following the new NJSIAA guidelines for high school sports during the pandemic and exposure to the rest of the team has been limited.
Carcich was made aware of the positive result and followed protocol. “I called each parent from the pod, and let them know,” he said. “And, the affected pod is now on a fourteen-day quarantine. Or those players can go and get tested and see if they have a negative result.”
“We are in Phase One of the NJSIAA guidelines, so we keep our team separated into Pods,” said Carcich.
All high school fall sports are currently in Phase One of the NJSIAA guidelines, which state that teams must separate players into groups (what Carcich called ‘pods’) with a maximum of ten players in each group. This is to prevent exposure to the entire team if there is a positive test. These groups must always be at least 18 feet apart and not share the same equipment. All workouts/practices must be held outdoors, and mask wearing is encouraged when players are not in conditioning drills. Also, it is written in the guidelines that, “There shall not be celebratory contact, e.g., fist bumps, high-fives, huddles, etc.”
A pre-screening process is in place at Wayne Valley, where each player, coach and staff member must fill out a questionnaire before each practice and have a temperature check. The guidelines say: “Any individual who answers ‘yes’ to any question on the questionnaire, or who has a temperature greater than 100.4°F, shall not be permitted to participate in the workout and shall be required to return home.”
A negative COVID test result would allow the players in this pod to participate in practices. The next practice is scheduled for August 10.
The student who tested positive will have to provide clearance from a physician before she is allowed to participate further with the team.
The Wayne Valley girls volleyball team are defending, County, Conference and State Champions.