COVID outbreak forces Berkeley High to pause all athletics
A trio of COVID-19 cases stemming from tryouts for the boys basketball team has prompted Berkeley High to pause all athletics tryouts, district officials said.
Within six days of the tryouts last week, three people involved in the tryout had tested positive for the virus, district officials said in a statement on Monday. Tryouts in all sports will be put on hold until at least Wednesday evening in order to “conduct a thorough review of athletic practices for adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols,” with the city of Berkeley’s public health department, officials said.
The cases “serve as an important reminder that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over,” the district said in a statement.
The district’s initial investigation found that most players had not been wearing masks for two outdoor and one indoor practice in the past week. Berkeley players also participated in unsanctioned indoor workouts without masks in the week leading up to the tryouts, according to the district.
All attendees of Berkeley boys’ basketball practices in the past week have entered a 10-day quarantine, the district said.
The district said it became aware of the first positive test on Friday and followed the appropriate reporting, notification and contact-tracing protocols. Subsequent positive tests within the program were reported on Sunday and Monday, the district said.
The three cases were the first at Berkeley High since January and only the fourth, fifth and sixth overall, according to district data. A total of 26 cases have been reported district-wide since the pandemic began.
Tryouts for badminton, soccer, lacrosse, water polo, basketball, wrestling and volleyball will all be paused due to the cases.
Boys’ basketball coach Mike Hudson did not respond to an inquiry for this story.