NL softball game postponed due to COVID-19 case

NEW LONDON — The New London vs. West Burlington-Notre Dame softball game, originally scheduled for Thursday night, has been postponed due to a positive COVID-19 case in the New London school district.

The positive case is a teenager who does not play summer sports at New London, but one Tiger softball player has come in contact with the teenager and has been tested.

As a precaution, the New London and West Burlington school districts have decided to postpone the game one week. The baseball game in West Burlington will still take place, but with extra guidelines. New London fans have been instructed to sit on the first base and right field sides and the West Burlington fans will sit on the other side. The two teams will warm up on separate fields, and the two towns will use different restrooms.

The decisions were made in correspondence with the Henry County Health Department, Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union, and parents.

New London Athletic Director Ben Fry says the school, and the team are taking proper precautions and will continue to investigate the situation, whether the player’s test comes back positive or negative.

“It’s tough to plan for something like this, but we prepared ourselves for this kind of situation by planning ahead,” Fry says. “Our coaches have done a fantastic job at social distancing at practice and communicating with the athletes.”

Fry says it is important to note that even if the test comes back negative, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will spell the end of the season for the Tiger softball team. There have been 15 summer sports teams across the state which have had a player test positive, and only five of those were forced to cancel the rest of the season.

Fry also says the main concern is safety, not only for the athletes, but also for coaches, athletic trainers, fans and anyone else who comes to the games. He says the school has been taking every possible precaution over the last 24 hours, including contacting all schools which were scheduled to play against New London in the near future.

“At the end of the day, we’re trying to do what we think is right, to not only keep our student-athletes safe, but to keep everybody else’s athlete’s safe,” Fry says.

The Union will have further updates when more information becomes available.