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18 members of Yale men’s hockey team have tested positive for coronavirus; school raises alert status from green to yellow

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — On Friday, a source confirmed to News 8 that 18 members of the Yale men’s hockey team have tested positive for coronavirus.

The school has moved from a green to yellow alert according to Yale’s COVID dashboard.

In a letter sent to members of the Yale community, Vice Provost for Health Affairs and Academic Integrity, Stephanie S. Spangler, wrote, in part:

I am writing to notify you that the university has raised our COVID-19 alert status from green (lower risk) to yellow (low to moderate risk of viral transmission). This decision was made based upon further developments relating to the COVID cluster that I wrote to you about on Tuesday evening. At that time, I reported that 6 members of a varsity athletic team had tested positive for COVID-19 over the previous 24 hours. Over the past two days, we have learned of 12 additional positive cases among team members, bringing the total cases to 18. 

All of these cases involve members of the men’s ice hockey team, and all of these students have been instructed to isolate. All other members of the men’s ice hockey team who are in the New Haven area, as well as the Athletics staff who have worked directly with them, have been instructed to quarantine and to participate in the university testing program, whether or not they have been identified as close contacts of infected team members. Rigorous contact tracing efforts are underway to identify any other individuals who may have been close contacts of the infected team members and to instruct them to quarantine and participate in testing.

As I outlined in my message on Tuesday, the university has taken additional cautionary measures:

– All varsity athletic teams and intramural programs have ceased in-person training activities for at least the coming week; and

– Certain athletic facilities, including Payne Whitney Gymnasium, Ingalls Rink, and the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center, have been closed for cleaning until Monday, October 19, 2020.

Letter from Stephanie S. Spangler, Vice Provost for Health Affairs and Academic Integrity

Earlier this week, Yale Athletics reverted to Phase 0 after reports of six players on the team testing positive.

In a letter to members of the Yale Community Tuesday, the university said, “Over the past 24 hours, the university has learned of six positive cases of COVID-19 among students, living on and off-campus, who are members of the same varsity athletic team.”

According to the Yale Daily News, who was first to report the story, it was six students on the hockey team that tested positive for the virus at the beginning of the week.

The university said they discovered these positive tests through their twice-weekly screening program. They quickly initiated their track and trace program, isolating the infected students.

Those infected and those considered close contacts with those infected are in quarantine.

Yale says they have implemented a number of additional cautionary measures:

  • All members of the affected team who are presently in New Haven, as well as the Athletics staff who work directly with them, have been asked to quarantine and participate in the testing program, whether or not they are identified as close contacts through the contact tracing program;
  • All varsity athletic teams and intramural programs will cease in-person training activities for at least the coming week; and
  • Certain athletic facilities, including Payne Whitney Gymnasium, Ingalls Rink, and the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center, will be closed for cleaning until Monday, October 19, 2020.

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