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Elizabethtown, N.C., January 11, 2021) – Effective January 11, 2021, the West Bladen Boys Varsity Basketball team has canceled workouts and competitive play through January 22 due to COVID-19 issues. Bladen County Schools learned on January 11 that 12 individuals associated with the boys’ basketball team have been identified as close contacts to an individual that has tested positive for COVID-19.

Due to privacy requirements and NCGS § 130A-143, the Bladen County Schools say they cannot release to the public the name of the individual or details that may identify him or her, but the information has been provided to the Bladen County Health Department in accordance with NCGS § 130A-136. The North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) has been made aware of the positive case and quarantine time, responding that “the team must postpone any scheduled contest during this quarantine period.”

Previously scheduled games that will not be played during the quarantine period are West Columbus scheduled for January 12, East Bladen scheduled for January 19, and Fairmont scheduled for January 22. A decision has not been made as to whether a make-up game will be scheduled between these schools. The boy’s team will return to workouts and competitive play after January 22. Their remaining scheduled games will be held on January 26, 29, February 5, 9, 12, 16, and 19 which is the last game of the season.

According to a Bladen County Schools press release, the health department is investigating the case and is working with school staff to identify anyone who may have had close contact (i.e., within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes) with the COVID positive individual. Any impacted person/s who were determined to be in close contact with the infected individual have all been notified effective January 11.

According to the report, those that were in close contact will remain off-campus for up to 14 calendar days to ensure that there will not be any potential further spread. If the health department does not contact you directly, you have not been identified as a close contact.

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