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UMaine men’s basketball team, staff self-isolating after potential exposure to game officials diagnosed with coronavirus

Jessica Hill | AP
Jessica Hill | AP
Andrew Fleming of the University of Maine (left) grabs a rebound against Connecticut's Akok Akok during December 2019 game. The Black Bears were involved in a March 7 game at Vermont during which it was later discovered that someone on the playing floor subsequently tested positive for the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

As of 11:30 a.m. Thursday, March 19, 42 Maine residents have been confirmed positive and 10 others are presumed positive for the coronavirus, according to the state. Click here for the latest coronavirus news, which the BDN has made free for the public. You can support this mission by purchasing a digital subscription.

The America East Conference announced Wednesday that two people on the floor during tournament games earlier this month have tested positive for the coronavirus.

That included the March 7 America East men’s basketball quarterfinal between the University of Maine and the University of Vermont at Patrick Gymnasium in Burlington, Vermont.

“The University of Maine is aware that two officials who were on the floor for the UMaine men’s basketball quarterfinal playoff game at Vermont have tested positive for COVID-19,” UMaine athletics said in a statement released Thursday afternoon.

“We are working with our student-athletes and staff to ensure their safety. All members of the traveling party are self-isolating through March 21, the date which marks 14 days from possible exposure. At this time, no student-athletes or staff who traveled to the quarterfinal game have reported any symptoms.”

America East and the Collegiate Officiating Consortium issued a joint statement saying the games involved teams in the America East, Horizon League and Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference during play from March 7-11.

“The health and safety of our fans and communities is paramount. Out of an abundance of caution, we, in conjunction with the Collegiate Officiating Consortium of which we are a member, are notifying the public that we are aware of two persons on the floor during tournament games who have tested positive for COVID-19. The America East has directly communicated with its membership,” the conference said in a statement.

The Collegiate Officiating Consortium represents Division I institutions from the America East Conference, Big Ten Conference, Horizon League, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, Mid-American Conference and Summit League, providing oversight of men’s basketball officiating operations for 65 Division I institutions in 22 states.

Other competing schools involved include the University of Illinois Chicago vs. Wright State at Indianapolis; Manhattan vs. Fairfield and Manhattan vs. Siena at Atlantic City, New Jersey.

The Siena men’s team, coaches and staff have been told to self-isolate until March 25 as a precaution after two officials who called the school’s last game tested positive for the coronavirus.

Siena spokesman Mike Demos said Thursday the school learned earlier in the week that two officials who worked Siena’s game against Manhattan in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament on March 11 in Atlantic City, New Jersey had tested positive for COVID-19.

Demos said New York state and Albany County health department officials advised self-isolation for 14 days from the date of possible exposure. Fans who attended the game are not considered to be at risk, he said.

America East says it continues to adhere to the guidance issued by the CDC and federal and state governments and encourages fans to do the same.

Watch: Symptoms of the coronavirus disease


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