In-season sports receive green light to continue season

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Photo: Courtesy of Lindsey Lowe

Senior Lindsey Lowe scored a run in game on of Saturday’s doubleheader.

By Christopher Williams, Sports Editor

In-season sports teams will be allowed to return to their respective fields this week to participate in practices and games as the weeklong halt of most campus activities is set to be lifted Thursday morning, Emerson announced in a Wednesday afternoon email.

“Having consulted the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) regarding our current COVID situation on campus, effective at 7:00am on Thursday, April 15, we will adjust the current restrictions which went into effect last week,” Assistant Vice President of Campus Life and “COVID Lead” Erik Muurisepp said.

Athletics were canceled for two straight weekends amid an unprecedented surge in positive COVID-19 tests at Emerson, which began on March 31 and was traced back to the women’s basketball team, according to a member of an Emerson athletics team. Emerson has reported 53 positives since March 31.

Administrators implemented a spate of new restrictions on campus life—including the cancellation of last weekend’s sports games.

All out of season sports were canceled on April 5 following a recommendation from the Boston Public Health Commission due to a spike in positive COVID-19 test results on campus and in the city, Athletic Director Patricia Nicol said in an interview with The Beacon. 

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The teams impacted by the college’s decision to resume in-season sports are baseball, men’s and women’s lacrosse, and softball, each of which hasn’t competed in over two weeks. The baseball, softball, and women’s lacrosse teams haven’t played a game since April 3, whereas the men’s lacrosse team has yet to play against an opponent this season. 

Each canceled game this season was done so “due to COVID-19 protocols,” according to statements made by the Athletic Department posted on social media and its website, but it is unclear which protocols are being referenced.

Baseball and softball will compete in doubleheaders against Worcester Polytechnic Institute on Saturday. Baseball will play away in Worcester, Massachusetts, while softball hosts WPI at Rotch Field. 

Men’s and women’s lacrosse will each play against Babson College on Saturday. Men’s lacrosse will travel to Wellesley, Massachusetts to play its first game of the season, and women’s lacrosse will host the Cougars at Rotch Field in its last scheduled game of the season.

Muurisepp said in the email announcement that spring sports teams will have to abide by “strict protocols.” The statement did not explain which “strict protocols” are being enforced. Prior to the shutdown of athletics activities last week, spring sports athletes were following safety protocols that the college enforced when it announced the sports season in March, including wearing masks while practicing, getting three COVID tests per week, and not participating in overnight travel.

The statement also said that the Fitness Center, which has been closed for the past week due to on-campus restrictions, will reopen to the community at 8 a.m. on Thursday morning.