Three from Berkeley High School boys basketball program test COVID positive

 A basketball sits on the court during a break in the action at an NBA game. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Berkeley Public Schools on Monday reported three individuals who participated with the Berkeley High School boys basketball program last week have tested positive for COVID-19. 

District officials said they became aware of the first case Friday, April 16 and have followed protocol in the notification and contact tracing process. Another case was identified on Sunday and the third on Monday. All stem from the boys basketball program. 

As a result, all individuals present at practices last week were placed on a 10-day quarantine and City of Berkeley Public Health was notified. 

In a statement, the district confirmed, "masks were not worn by most students as they engaged in rigorous basketball drills at two outdoor practices and one indoor workout last week."

District officials said what happened at tryouts goes against their athletic directors guidance. The athletic directors are following California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) guidance, which explicitly states masks are to be worn even during heavy exertion. 

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In addition, the district notified the community of two more COVID cases at two of their elementary schools. A case was identified Friday at Sylvia Mendez Elementary School and on Monday at Rosa Parks Elementary School. There are quarantines related to these two cases. 

Due to the outbreak, school officials are now pausing tryouts for all athletics -- indoor and outdoor sports -- for 48 hours starting Monday evening. They will take the opportunity to review COVID protocol in relation to athletic programs practice.  

"These five cases serve as an important reminder that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over," district officials wrote.

Students are encouraged to participate in the district's COVID testing program, available at all pre-K through high school campuses.