McQuaid game in Buffalo postponed in dispute over vaccines
WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. (WHEC) — After some back and forth, the New York Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) has decided to postpone the New York State Regional Final game against McQuaid Jesuit and Bennett High School.
The game was scheduled to be played in Williamsville, N.Y., which is located in Erie County.
This decision to postpone the football game came from Robert Zayas, the executive director of the NYSPHSAA,Saturday afternoon.
According to a McQuaid spokesperson, the Erie County Department of Health indicated it would only permit vaccinated McQuaid Jesuit players, coaches and managers to compete in the Regional Final because some players and an assistant coach tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week.
"Per McQuaid Jesuit’s protocols, the varsity football team was placed on a 72-hour pause for contact practice, effective the evening of Tuesday, November 16, after two members of the team tested positive for COVID-19.
With guidance received from the Monroe County Department of Public Health, McQuaid Jesuit tested all players and coaches for three consecutive days beginning Thursday morning. All players and coaches, whether vaccinated or not, were tested Thursday, Friday, and again this morning with negative tests each day required to participate tonight. Testing did result in several more positive cases which have been reported to the Department of Public Health. Any members of the program who tested positive were immediately required to isolate. McQuaid Jesuit’s COVID-19 data is publicly available at the NYS COVID-19 School Report Card website.
Throughout the testing process, McQuaid Jesuit leadership was in regular communication with the Monroe County Department of Public Health, Section V officials, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association, and our counterparts at the Buffalo Public School district. We were prepared to proceed with tonight’s game after ensuring a healthy and safe outdoor environment for all in accordance with recommendations from health officials. McQuaid Jesuit’s players and coaches learned of Zayas’s abrupt postponement while on the buses waiting to depart."
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz posted on his Twitter page
Pursuant to an order from @NYSPHSAA, and in consultation with the @ECDOH and @MonroeHealth Departments, tonight’s football game between Bennett HS and McQuaid HS of Rochester is postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak with McQuaid’s team. 1/2— Mark Poloncarz (@markpoloncarz) November 20, 2021
McQuaid tried to force the game to be played by judicial order, in contravention of health departments standards, but to the credit of @NYSPHSAA they postponed the game until a full court hearing can be held in the next few days. I would have postponed it if necessary. 2/2— Mark Poloncarz (@markpoloncarz) November 20, 2021