Team resumes play after negative test results

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MANCHESTER — Last week, the Manchester team in the Vermont Summer Baseball League had all of its games — four in total — postponed.

The postponements were made out of an abundance of caution regarding a number of positive antigen tests for COVID-19.

According to Manchester assistant coach Kevin Murphy, at least one player and several parents tested positive with the antigen test.

"We did our due diligence and postponed the games, quarantined and got tested," Murphy said. "Whoever was positive for the antigen [test], they scheduled a follow-up and waited a couple days for the results."

Manchester head coach Darrin Senecal said on Tuesday that none of the players or the parents were symptomatic.

The Vermont Department of Health announced Sunday that 35 of the 63 people who had a positive antigen test for the coronavirus at Manchester Medical Center since July 10 have been retested with a PCR test. Of that number, only two have tested positive with the follow-up PCR test. Furthermore, of more than 400 test results from pop-up PCR testing in both Manchester and Londonderry last week, none has returned as positive, the department said.

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That includes all of the players and parents associated with the Manchester VSBL team, according to Murphy.

"That's why we're moving forward [with the season]," Murphy said.

Games against Lakes Region, Brattleboro and Rutland were postponed.

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Senecal has been in contact with the parents and players, along with league officials in Burlington with updates on the situation.

"We didn't try to run away from anything," said Murphy, who is also Senecal's brother-in-law. "Keeping everybody healthy is the most important thing."

Murphy said he didn't have any idea if the positive tests were the result of one action — like a party, for example — or multiple actions.

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Murphy said that for himself, he received the PCR test on Wednesday and received the negative result on Saturday evening.

"It was seven days after I had contact with anyone who had tested positive," Murphy said.

Senecal and Murphy have talked to the members of the team, reminding them to be careful as the pandemic goes on.

"There are rules and protocols that have to be followed, otherwise we can't continue," Murphy said.

The team played a single game on Tuesday against Bennington, but has to make up the rest of the games this week, with doubleheaders Thursday and Saturday.

"We want to make it as safe as we can be, to give the kids an opportunity to play," Murphy said. "They haven't had it since March."


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