Members of the St. Francis University men’s basketball team have not shown signs of COVID-19 as of Wednesday afternoon, according to Red Flash Athletic Director Susan Robinson Fruchtl.

The Northeast Conference was informed that an official who worked the NEC men’s basketball championship game at Robert Morris University on March 10 has tested positive for the coronavirus.

“We are not aware of any cases of the virus at SFU,” Robinson Fruchtl said. “I have not been informed that student-athletes or coaches have experienced any symptoms at this time.”

Robert Morris University defeated St. Francis in the conference title game.

On Tuesday, the NEC notified the two universities as well as tournament staffers who may have come in close contact with the official.

The tournament game took place more than a week ago and symptoms are most likely to occur within seven days. But those who attended were advised to monitor for symptoms that include fever, dry cough and shortness of breath. Those who exhibit such symptoms should contact their physician.

“We informed the student-athletes, our sports medicine director has been in touch with our staff and student-athletes on the team just to check in with them to see if everybody is OK,” Robinson Fruchtl said. “The university also informed the campus community (Tuesday) night as well.”

Robert Morris assistant athletic director Jim Duzyk, who was at the game, told The Tribune-Review that no one from the Colonials’ team has exhibited symptoms of the coronavirus.

“We all feel good. We don’t feel sick,” Duzyk told the Greensburg newspaper.

A Robert Morris University statement on Tuesday said, “After consulting with the team’s UPMC physician, the university is notifying those most likely to have been in close contact with the official. Because the game took place seven days ago, and symptoms are most likely to occur within five to seven days, all are deemed to be at low risk for infection.”

Robinson Fruchtl said St. Francis University athletics department staff are working from home due to concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Online classes started Wednesday.

“Campus is not closed, but most people now are working remotely, telecommuting,” she said. “In athletics, we are all telecommuting. The students started leaving campus on Friday. There are very few students left on campus now and only essential personnel are working on campus at the university. We have virtual meetings.

“Right now, it’s technically through March 29,” Robinson Fruchtl said of online learning and telecommuting. “Everything is being assessed on a daily basis. Everything changes. Since last week, it almost seems like an eternity.”

Mike Mastovich is a sports reporter and columnist for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at (814) 532-5083. Follow him on Twitter @Masty81.

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