Thursday, December 7, 2023

W&M pauses athletic activities following positive coronavirus cases

(WYDaily file/Courtesy of W&M News)
(WYDaily file/Courtesy of W&M News)

William & Mary on Wednesday put a pause on all sports activities, including practices, after positive cases of COVID-19.

“We had a number of positive cases of COVID-19 reported over the last few days as a result of our prevalence testing and through our self-reporting system,” Erin Zagursky, W&M spokeswoman, wrote in an email Wednesday afternoon.

Zagursky said that includes “12 people associated with W&M Athletics…”

University officials did not disclose how many student athletes have tested positive for the coronavirus.

“We have temporarily paused all athletic team activities as a precaution and to conduct testing,” Zagursky said.

That means there will be  no practice or training sessions “until so directed by Tribe Athletics’ chief medical officer, who is in close contact with other university and state health officials.”

“Those who have tested positive have been contacted by our case managers with information on how to isolate for 10 days and next steps,” she said.

“Those who are identified as potential close contacts of those who tested positive are being asked to quarantine for 14 days; if they are students, they will be tested for COVID-19 around the seventh day of quarantine.”

Zagursky said W&M follows “all guidelines set forth by the university, CDC and NCAA.”

The COVID-19 Dashboard was momentarily not working Wednesday but has updated as of 4:19 p.m. with 28 “on campus positives.”

W&M defines positive on campus positive numbers as “any student or employee having a local address within a 30-mile drive of the campus is considered an on-campus community member” which also includes students taking remote classes and employees working remotely.

The previous day, the dashboard showed there were 20 cases on campus.

This has been a tough week for the college’s athletics department.

Samantha Huge, W&M athletics director, resigned Tuesday, weeks after W&M announced it would cut seven varsity sports programs.

Her resignation was effective immediately.

W&M President Katherine Rowe, Board of Visitors Rector John E. Littel and Jeremy Martin, Rowe’s chief of staff and the new interim athletics director, released a statement to the Tribe Club board members and later, to the college community on Tuesday about the decision.

“…Director Huge and I have mutually agreed that it is best to part ways so the university can focus on the critical questions facing W&M Athletics,” Rowe wrote. “I accept this with a heavy heart and with great respect for Samantha Huge and her leadership.”

The news was announced just before the faculty Arts & Sciences meeting on Tuesday, where a faculty member planned to file a motion, a vote of no confidence in Huge’s leadership.


John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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