East Bladen girls, West Bladen boys basketball programs paused for two weeks due to COVID-19

East Bladen girls, West Bladen boys basketball programs paused for two weeks due to COVID-19

BLADEN COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - Several individuals associated with the East Bladen girls and West Bladen boys varsity basketball teams have been deemed close contacts to an individual who tested positive for COVID-19, prompting the suspension of basketball-related activities, effective Monday, Jan. 11.

West Bladen

According to a news release, district officials say they learned on Monday that a total of 12 individuals in the West Bladen boys basketball team have been determined to be a close contact to the Covid-positive person. Officials declined to release additional details.

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) has been made aware of the positive case and the quarantined individuals, and responded that “the [teams] must postpone any scheduled contest during this quarantine period.

Previously scheduled games against West Columbus on Jan. 12, East Bladen on Jan. 19, and Fairmont on Jan. 22 have been canceled. A decision on whether to schedule make-up games between these teams has not been made.

East Bladen

Officials say they learned on Jan. 8 that seven total members of the East Bladen girls basketball team were in close contact with the individual.

In response, workouts and games have been canceled through Thursday Jan. 21. Similarly, the NCHSAA is aware of the situation at the school.

“Previously scheduled games that will not be played during the quarantine period are South Columbus, East Columbus, and West Bladen. A decision has not been made as to whether a make-up game will be scheduled between these schools,” according to the release. “The girl’s team will return to workouts and competitive play on January 22. Their remaining scheduled games will be held on January 22, 26, 29, February 2, 5, 9, 12, and 19 which is the last game of the season.”

The county health department is working to investigate both situations and will identify anyone who might have been in close contact with the COVID-19-positive individual.

“Any impacted person/s who were determined to be in close contact with the infected individual have all been notified effective January 9. Those that were in close contact will remain off-campus for up to 14 calendar days to ensure that there will not be any potential further spread. If the health department does not contact you directly, you have not been identified as a close contact,” according to the release.

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