Alaska Goldpanners experience more COVID-positive test results, shorten road trip

Published: Jul. 7, 2021 at 1:20 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Three Alaska Goldpanners players tested positive for COVID-19 while on an extended road trip, the team confirmed Wednesday. The remaining games have been canceled and the team returned to Fairbanks from Anchorage Wednesday on a charter bus.

“We got into Anchorage and tested players on [July 6] before we went to the park and found three players were positive,” Goldpanners General Manager John Lohrke told KTVF. “We had to notify, and had no problem notifying the teams, but we knew with that disclosure there was a very real possibility and probably that they were not going to play us, and that is what happened. In light of all that, we put those three guys in their own hotel room and then made arrangements to leave at 10 a.m. this morning.”

The three players who tested positive traveled back to Fairbanks in a van with a team trainer separate from the bus Wednesday. The organization will continue to test, monitor and put mitigation plans into place for those who tested negative.

“We are not completely out of the woods, just working through some final cases,” Lohrke added. “Most everybody is either completed vaccinated or has already had it.”

The Goldpanners left Fairbanks to Seattle, Washington on June 27 to compete in six games with two teams in the area. The team then flew to Anchorage Monday to play against various Alaska Baseball League teams in the Southcentral. Tuesday’s game with the Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks was canceled due to weather, while Wednesday’s contest with the Mat-Su Miners and Thursday’s with the Anchorage Glacier Pilots were officially canceled Wednesday morning.

On June 15, the organization announced that some of their players tested positive for COVID-19, canceling two home games. The Goldpanners are scheduled to play the Fairbanks Adult Amateur Baseball League All-Stars July 13 to begin an 18-game homestand.

Continue to monitor for updates.

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