Court hears McQuaid football COVID case Tuesday morning in Buffalo
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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WHEC) — The drama around the postponed McQuaid Jesuit High School playoff football game got more dramatic Monday.
McQuaid’s game Saturday was postponed after McQuaid sued the Erie County Public Health Department who said the school could only play with vaccinated players. The game was postponed when the players and coaches were sitting on a bus waiting to travel to the game in Williamson.
News10NBC learned the team’s lawyers will be in a Buffalo State Supreme Court courtroom Tuesday at 11 a.m.
That’s key because Saturday’s playoff game is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday night in Williamsville, Erie County.
Last week, some McQuaid players started testing positive for COVID. Erie County said unvaccinated players could not play in the game and that’s when this game went from a high school football field to a courtroom.
"Unvaccinated, close contacts have to quarantine. That’s the rule," said Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz."McQuaid didn’t like it. And went to court."
McQuaid sued the Erie County Public Health Department saying its decision only "restricted unvaccinated players" on McQuaid, not the Buffalo Bennett High School they face.
At his COVID briefing Monday, Poloncraz said the Buffalo Bennett High School football team has not produced any positive tests.
Here’s how we got here according to the State Supreme Court petition filed by McQuaid Saturday afternoon.
Monday, Nov. 15
- One McQuaid football player tested positive.
Tuesday, Nov. 16
- A second player tests positive and that triggered a 72-hour pause in practices.
- McQuaid considered the entire team "potentially exposed."
Wednesday, Nov. 17
- The Monroe County Public Health Department was contacted and was told "test to play" is in effect so players who test negative can play.
Thursday, Nov. 18
- Testing found a "handful of new cases" including among vaccinated and unvaccinated players.
- McQuaid contacted the state athletic association and the Buffalo schools athletic director.
Friday, Nov. 19
- McQuaid practiced.
- It was their third day of testing and they were all negative.
- That night, the school was told by Erie County that only vaccinated players could play.
Saturday, Nov. 20
- McQuaid sued and the state postponed the game.
Last week, Monroe County Public Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza said the testing that can keep unvaccinated students in class applies to sports too.
"Test to stay allows students who would need to be quarantined — that is unvaccinated students who are within six feet of an infected individual for more than 15 minutes — to test to stay in school," Mendoza said. "For Monroe County, I have decided for now that includes school-related activities, athletics and performances."
But at the moment, Erie County says it doesn’t.
"I’m just disappointed that McQuaid tried to force a football game to be played knowing their entire team, at least on the information I’ve been provided, was exposed to fellow teammates who tested positive with COVID-19," Poloncarz said.
McQuaid says it had zero positive tests Monday and it will test again Tuesday.
The winner of the game, whenever it’s played, goes to the state semi-final.