The MAAC issued a statement Wednesday night that two men’s basketball officials tested positive for COVID-19, and that “one or both of these persons were on the floor” during a series of four recent games, including the Siena men’s basketball team’s MAAC tournament quarterfinal win last Wednesday against Manhattan.
A statement issued through the Siena athletic department Wednesday night reads as follows: “Siena College learned yesterday that two referees who worked the Siena vs. Manhattan College MAAC Tournament men's basketball game have tested positive for the coronavirus. The game was played Wednesday, March 11, at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. As a result, both the New York State and Albany County departments of health have advised that all Siena College individuals who were identified as having direct contact with one of these officials self-isolate for a period of 14 days from the date of possible exposure. This period will last until March 25. Individuals requested to self-isolate were notified by Siena College health services on Tuesday. Fans who attended the game are not considered at risk and are not being asked to self-isolate.”
The Siena athletic department spokesman could not confirm which of the program’s members needed to “self-isolate.” Present in the team’s bench area, though, for the game were coaches, players and various staff members.
Other games with at least one of the infected officials working included the March 7 America East Conference quarterfinal between Maine and Vermont, the March 9 Horizon League semifinal between Wright State and Illinois Chicago, and the March 10 MAAC first-round matchup between Manhattan and Fairfield.
“The health and safety of our fans and communities is paramount,” the MAAC’s statement reads. “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.”
MAAC commissioner Rich Ensor said his league’s schools were alerted earlier this week before positive tests were known.
“We’ve been aware of testing taking place for three days now, and the schools have been aware,” Ensor said Wednesday night.
The MAAC tournament was canceled last Thursday. The Siena women’s basketball team played the final game of the tournament, as the Saints lost that quarterfinal matchup to Fairfield. A Siena athletic department spokesman confirmed that the school’s women’s team did not need to self-isolate based off of the situation described in Wednesday night’s statement from the MAAC.