Comets

The Halifax County High School Comets defeated the Blacksburg Bruins on Sunday afternoon to win the Region 4D Championship. 

The Halifax County High School Comets boys basketball team had a close call this week after personnel from Blacksburg High School notified high school and school district personnel on Monday that several players on their team tested positive for COVID-19 following their Sunday matchup with the Comets, according to high school principal Michael Lewis.

The Comets boys’ basketball team competed against Blacksburg High School on Sunday afternoon in the Region 4D Championship Game, winning 54-48 to land a spot in the state semifinal game set for Wednesday.  

After nearly four hours of contact tracing by an independent review committee, it was found that there was no exposure to Comets players by Centers for Disease Control guidelines, Lewis said Tuesday afternoon. 

CDC requires quarantine due to contact over 15 minutes within 24 hours at less than 6 feet distance. 

The high school principal said a review committee made up of medical personnel reviewed video from Sunday’s game to see what contact if any these Blacksburg players who have tested positive for COVID-19 may have had with any Comets players. 

The Comets players have been following COVID-19 protocols such as wearing masks, temperature checks and answering health questions prior to and during games and practices. 

Lewis said they intend to continue to follow all guidance provided by the Virginia Department of Health and the Center of Disease Control. 

All nurses with Halifax County Public Schools have been trained in contact tracing. 

Adherence to health guidelines would be the determining factor in determining quarantining of student athletes or personnel, said Lewis.

The high school principal could not comment on how many Blacksburg players have tested positive or if they were players who had action in the game, but he said he was appreciative of the information that had been provided by Blacksburg High School’s Athletic Director Peter Lyell.  

“We would like to thank the personnel at Blacksburg High School and Montgomery County Schools for sharing what information they could and for caring for the welfare of Halifax County High School student athletes,” said Lewis. 

He said Blacksburg personnel have been working well with them, and they’re “fortunate to have that help so that we can keep our players safe as well.”

When contacting Brenda Drake, director of communications and community relations with Montgomery County Public Schools, about their basketball players testing positive for COVID-19 and their safety protocols, she said, “We do not share medical information about our students.” 

She also said they follow all Virginia High School League protocols such as wearing masks, temperature checks and screenings and social distancing. 

Attempts to reach Blacksburg High School’s athletic director for comment were unsuccessful as of press time Tuesday.

Ashley Hodge is the editor for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at ahodge@gazettevirginian.com

Ashley Hodge is the editor for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at ahodge@gazettevirginian.com