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Omicron variant wreaking havoc on sports schedules

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Two Virginia players who reported cold-like symptoms ended up testing positive for COVID last week. Things escalated quickly from there to the cancellation of today’s Wasabi Fenway Bowl.

“How we navigate this is going to be so challenging because with previous waves it’s been compartmentalized to the point where you could wall off a player in quarantine, but now you’re talking about not like one or two players, you’re talking about 15, 20, 25 players on the team testing positive. Now, granted, 99 percent are completely asymptomatic. And so, then the question is, what do you what do you do with that information?” said Dr. Winston Gwathmey, a team physician with Virginia Athletics, in an interview with “The Jerry Ratcliffe Show” this week.

“We had a couple symptomatic athletes, and then it compelled us to test the entire team, and there’s a lot more positive who had really no idea they had the had it at all. So, I guess the two ways to look at this, Jerry, is that, one, it doesn’t seem like it’s all that virulent in some of our athletes, but two, can these people be passing it on to people who might be at risk? And I guess that’s the concern we have as a society, like, where’s it all at?” Gwathmey said.

The Virginia-SMU bowl matchup in Boston was just one of several impacted by the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID. The Military Bowl (Boston College-East Carolina) and Holiday Bowl (NC State-UCLA) were also affected, and Miami had to bow out of its Sun Bowl contest with Washington State.

We’re also seeing a slew of college basketball games postponed due to COVID protocols, and the ACC this week has updated its guidelines related to COVID in line with new CDC guidelines cutting the quarantine period for asymptomatic individuals from 10 days to five days.

“My concern, at the current present time, is the is the rate of these things that are getting cancelled, there’s either going to be a shutdown of all sports or a big policy change,” Gwathmey said. “You’ve already seen the CDC changing the limits with quarantining from 10 days to five days, and there’s some literature that suggests that you’re only really infectious in the first several days of having the condition. So, I mean, perhaps maybe we can get over this thing off for once and for all.”

Story by Chris Graham

augusta free press
augusta free press