Sacred Heart University Athletics announced on Nov. 6 that they will pause all athletic activities due to the abundance of positive COVID-19 cases at the university. Athletic activities are still on pause until further notice.
Prior to the decision to pause athletic activities this month, Sacred Heart saw an increase in positive cases both on and off campus.
Back in March, winter sports teams were still competing in their respective tournaments. However, when COVID-19 hit, athletics shut down for the remainder of the season, cutting these tournaments short
Over the summer, before classes began, the Northeast Conference (NEC) announced on July 29 that they were canceling fall sports due to COVID-19.
“The health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and staff is our number-one priority,” said Michael Smoose, Director of Athletic Communications and Marketing.
Smoose also mentioned that the in-season teams; men’s and women’s basketball and ice hockey, will stay at Sacred Heart because they have games during November, December, and January. On the other hand, students who do not play winter sports have the option to go home.
As COVID-19 cases arose on and off campus, classes were moved online for the rest of the semester. Students had to make the decision to go home early or stay on campus for the remainder of the semester. If they chose to go home, they had the option to take a COVID-19 test before leaving for the safety of the student and whomever was at home.
“We have our coaches checking in with their student-athletes on their well-being and to see what their plans are going home,” said Smoose. “We support any student-athlete who chooses to go home early.”
Sacred Heart Athletics has a plan and protocols for practices to begin again. Athletics will continue to follow university, National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), state and local guidelines.
“We will follow the resocialization protocols that we put in place when practices began,” said Smoose. “This includes limiting contact, wearing masks and physical distancing as much as possible.”
Many winter sports are continuing to prepare for the season despite the rise of COVID-19 cases. Some teams are quarantining for 14 days for safety reasons.
No announcement has been made on a possible postponement of any winter sports. The teams will continue preparing for the season and stay safe by following the protocols that have been put in place by the athletics department.
The athletic administration consulted with university and local leaders to reevaluate the situation with the hopes of resuming activities on Monday, Nov. 8. As of this writing, the university remains in a red alert zone and there has been no word as to if and when athletic activities will resume.