Girl’s hockey quarantined after exposure to COVID-19


Photo credit: Emma Yee

Girl’s hockey coach Emma Yee said one of the biggest reasons the girls were so upset after the quarantine was because they had gone to great lengths to be careful about COVID-19. “They have followed every protocol and have been very safe so it feels very unfair that it is happening because of another team and not because of any actions on our part,” Yee said.

By Michael Hartt, Editor in chief

After playing three full seasons of girls’ ice hockey, senior and varsity team captain Mia Cassar was heartbroken when she was informed her team had to quarantine for 14 days after they were exposed to a COVID-19 positive player — virtually ending their season.

In the initial letter that was sent to families of quarantined students on March 1, the athletic department specified that they follow guidance from the Wayne County Health Department Return to School Road Map and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services when making decisions about whether to quarantine students post-exposure. This is why, they explained, a 10 day quarantine was required for the team. 

Athletic Director Michelle Davis said that soon after the letter was sent out, the Wayne County Health Department’s guidance was updated to require a 14-day quarantine instead of 10 day quarantine, adding confusion to the situation.

“The WCHD informed us their policy changed on Feb. 12, 2021 which unfortunately requires a 14 day quarantine,” Davis said.

Although Cassar recognizes that she and her teammates were exposed to a COVID-19 positive player, she does not believe that they were exposed in a way that warrants a quarantine.

“We dont believe that we were in close contact with the positive people to justify quarantine at all, let alone for fourteen days,” Cassar said.

English teacher and girls’ hockey coach Emma Yee also doubted the extent to which the players were in contact with a COVID-19 positive person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes, the amount of time which dictates a quarantine in the MDHHS guidelines.

“I think it would be really difficult to determine (if there was 15 minutes of cumulative close contact between players),” Yee said. “In a hockey game you are moving past people really quickly so probably the majority of the people on our bench weren’t next to that one girl.”

In order to advocate for a reduction or cancellation of the quarantine, Cassar drafted a letter to the district administration officials, North administration officials and school board members.

The letter details the team’s concerns that the decision to quarantine them was not made reasonably based on the logistics of the game and the number of players on both teams.

Since the letter was sent out on March 1, Cassar said that she has received many redundant responses from administrators. A group of school board members, however, has been supportive of her cause and has worked with her to investigate the matter.

Because of the delayed winter sports season and the length of the quarantine, both Cassar and Yee doubt the team’s ability to have the strong ending to the season they had hoped for.

“We just lost a big portion of our already tiny season,” Cassar said. “We would be eligible out of quarantine to play but depending on the situation and how they put the games in, we might not be able to play without practicing before. Morale is pretty low going into the potential playoffs, which is never good.”

Cassar said that she is still hoping to work out a compromise with the administration, and that until she does, she will continue advocating for her team’s ability to play.

“In the coming days my goal is to just keep reaching out to them with the new facts that I have discovered while continuing the dig into the rules and anything that could help,” Cassar said.