The University of Maine said Thursday that its men’s basketball team is “self-isolating” after being exposed to two game officials who tested positive for the coronavirus after working Maine’s final game, at Vermont on March 7.

University officials said in a release that “all members of the traveling party are self-isolating through March 21, the date which marks 14 days from possible exposure.”

The statement continued, “No student-athletes or staff who traveled to the quarterfinal game have reported any symptoms.”

Tyson McHatten, a senior associate director of athletics at UMaine, said Thursday that the traveling party included coaches, players, an athletic trainer, two student managers, a sports information director and a radio play-by-play announcer.

“As far as we know, no one (among the Maine party) has been tested (for coronavirus),” he said. “No one has reported any symptoms.”

Maine’s game at Vermont was a 61-50 loss in the America East Conference quarterfinals. The conference announced Wednesday night that “we are aware of two persons on the floor during tournament games who have tested positive for COVID-19.”


The conference said those referees went on to officiate other college basketball games: a Horizon League semifinal in Indianapolis on March 9 and Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament games in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on March 10 and 11.

McHatten said school officials were told of the possible exposure late last week, which is when the members of the traveling party went into self-isolation. Neither Athletic Director Ken Ralph nor Coach Richard Barron were available for comment.

In a statement sent to the Burlington Free Press, University of Vermont spokesman Enrique Corredera indicated that the school determined it wasn’t necessary for its men’s basketball team to take similar precautions.

“We have been in contact with Vermont Department of Health officials – who assured us that this was not a concerning exposure, given the gap of time between the game and the onset of symptoms, which the officials developed at least three days later,” the statement read. “Because of this, the VDH advised that it was not necessary to implement contact tracing or quarantine strategies, including public notification.”

The coronavirus outbreak has affected others in the sports world, including at least 10 positive tests among NBA players. On Thursday, Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics announced on Twitter that he has tested positive, and the Los Angeles Lakers said two of their players have tested positive. Also, head coach Sean Payton of the NFL’s New Orleans Saints revealed that he has tested positive.

NBA star Kevin Durant was one of four Brooklyn Nets players who recently tested positive, and Utah Jazz stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell tested positive last week. Gobert was the first pro athlete who tested positive, and the NBA immediately suspended its season on March 11.

Two New York Yankees minor leaguers also have tested positive, and the NHL’s Ottawa Senators announced late Tuesday that one of their players tested positive.

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