3 Amerks players, 1 staffer test positive for coronavirus; games postponed

Rochester Amerks

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) – Three Amerks players have tested positive for coronavirus, prompting several games to be postponed and practices to be canceled.

Amerks Head Coach Seth Appert made the announcement Tuesday on a Zoom press conference with local media.

“We do have three positive COVID tests so far on our team,” Appert said. “I do want to really make sure that we understand that our players have been nothing but exemplary on ice in the competition, but also off the ice.”

Appert said the three players that tested positive have limited to no symptoms. In addition to the three players who tested positive, Appert said one support staff member had also tested positive.

“The first and foremost is health and safety of players and staff,” Appert said. “The three guys that have it, have minimal to no symptoms, so that’s good news.”

The team has recently postponed games and canceled practices out of an abundance of caution.

“We made the decision that we made in terms of postponing games out of an abundance of caution and avoid a situation where we had a mass spread either thorough us or to our opponents,” Appert said. “Our guys feel that they’re in a safe environment, we have regular testing, and our mask wearing has been very strong.”

Appert says the plan going forward to get the season back on track will come down to negative test results.

“Our plan going forward: If we’ve had multiple negative days in a row — now if we have another negative day tomorrow, we will enter back to the ice in small groups,” Appert said.

Appert says despite the challenges of a season during a pandemic, the team has maintained positive attitudes.

“We talk about it all the time, that these games this year, they’re precious,” Appert said. “They’re so valuable and so important. We have so many young players that need this development opportunity and more than that, every the decisions we make away from the rink impacts our ability to be in the rink — and our guys have been fantastic. We’ve found ways to have a lot of energy, and a lot of positivity, and good results early on — despite not being able to do the things we usually do as a team.”

The coach said he was confident there’s been no exposure since the fist confirmed case last Wednesday.

“We played Wednesday night in Utica, Appert said. “We found out early the next morning that we had one positive, so at that point a lot of discussions went in, and we decided to keep players away from the rink that day and started having conversations with the trainer.

“We were all pretty aligned very quickly that, let’s make the smart, cautious decision because who knows how many more,” Appert said. “The tough part about this virus is you can have it and spread it and not test positive for it just yet — so we made that decision on Thursday. I believe the second and third positives came on Friday and Saturday, if I recall correctly, and then we addressed those as they came forward and so far it’s just those three.”

Check back with News 8 WROC as we update this developing story.

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