Public School System Athletic Program director Nick Gross has momentarily put a pause to the ongoing boys and girls IT&E Interscholastic High School Basketball League at the Marianas High School Gymnasium due to COVID-19 concerns.
“It has come to my attention that some members of the teams, coaches, and officials have begun experiencing symptoms associated with COVID infection. Many have availed of testing and others experiencing symptoms should do so as well,” he said in a mass email to schools taking part in the competition.
Gross said while he has yet to receive the results of all who have tested, he was informed that some members did test positive for the coronavirus.
“Due to the possible link to our ongoing basketball leagues, we will be pausing high school basketball programs until Wednesday, Feb. 9. We will work on amending the season schedules for both the boys and girls season to avoid missing any other competitions.”
The Athletic Program director said those who have concerns they may have caught the virus or are showing symptoms should avail themselves of free community-based testing by registering at https://covidtesting.chcc.health/.
Gross said before the Feb. 9 start date, rest assured PSS’ Athletic Program will make sure all protocols are in place to resume the season safely and the students’ healthcare in mind.
“Prior to restarting programs, we will assess current COVID-19 mitigation plans and work on identifying ways to increase mitigation to ensure the safe resumption of indoor sport. As always, we appreciate your assistance, patience and support as we navigate the safe reopening of sport,” he said.
The Northern Mariana Islands Basketball Federation-managed IT&E Interscholastic High School Basketball League has a total of eight teams taking part in the boys regular season—Mt. Carmel School Varsity and Junior Varsity, Kagman High School Varsity and Junior Varsity, Saipan International School, Marianas High School, Da’ok Academy, and Saipan Southern High School.
In the girls competition, Mt. Carmel School, Marianas High School, and Saipan Southern High School are seeing action in the regular season. Tinian and Rota high schools are expected to join the boys and girls competition come the playoffs.