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I-Team: Local high school basketball game canceled over COVID-19 concerns


EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — PIAA confirms the Basketball game scheduled for Friday night between Crestwood and Abington Heights has been canceled because of COVID-19 concerns.

Frank Majikes, the chairman of District 2 of PIAA tells the I-Team that Abington High School officials called him and said some of their players were exposed to COVID-19 earlier this week and are now quarantined. Abington Heights forfeited the game.

“We understand what direct exposure is and how dangerous it can be,” Robert Mehalick, Crestwood School District Superintendent said.

Mehalick says that he has had to cancel events and deal with dozens of students and staff who had tested positive for COVID-19 over the past year. When he heard reports, that some Abington Heights High School Basketball players may have been exposed to COVID-19 when they played against North Pocono High School on Tuesday night, his alarms went off.

“So my concern is just trying to get the information, what took place, I don’t need names. Certainly I don’t need medical information I need to know what was the exposure what was the length of that exposure and who all was exposed,” Mehalick said.

Mehalick tells the I-Team that information was hard to come by. As of midday Friday the game with Abington Heights was still a go. He reached out to state representative Tara Toohil for help in obtaining more information.

“We are trying to seek clarification on whether the Department of Health is saying that you can still go ahead with these these games,” Toohil said.

Then, Mehalick says, he received word from the Pennsylvania Department of Health that two North Pocono Players had tested positive for COVID-19.

“I know my team right now does not have exposure to a positive case and so to put my students on a floor with people who may have been exposed, that’s reckless,” Mehalick said.

Mehalick received confirmation from the PIAA just before 1:00 p.m. that Abington Heights School District was going to forfeit the game because several of their players had been exposed to COVID-19 at the North Pocono game.

The PIAA also confirmed that information with the I-Team at about the same time. We reached out to Abington Heights and North Pocono for comment but have not yet heard back.

A spokesperson for the state department of health tells the I-Team that they cannot comment on specific cases or clusters but say they do work with local health departments to perform contact tracing to alert the community of any possible COVID-19 exposure.

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