Rockland mom says false positive on rapid COVID test cost daughters' special season
A Rockland mom is calling for changes in the South Orangetown School District when it comes to sports and COVID-19.
It comes after Jennifer Phelan says a false positive cost her daughters and their team the season.
She says this season was the only chance for all three daughters to play together on the Tappan Zee High School girls varsity basketball team since one of them is a senior.
That chance was cut short when Phelan says one of their teammates got a false positive on a rapid COVID-19 test.
"It's over for us now ... I just don't want to see what happened to them happen to other students and seniors at our school," she says.
Phelan says the team made it to the championships and was about to play its first playoff game last week when the test result caused the district to pull the plug on the game and season – even though Phelan says the student had a negative PCR test two hours after the rapid one.
"The Board of Education wasn't listening and then they weren't responding, which made it even worse," she says.
Phelan says their pleas to salvage the season fell on deaf ears.
The Rockland County Health Department doesn't require regular testing to play school sports but recommends it. It's ultimately up to school districts to decide.
In this case, South Orangetown Schools require regular testing, and the Department of Health says once a result comes in, state law mandates it be treated as a true positive.
"We would've had a good shot at winning, and it just sucks we didn't get a chance to play," says Phelan.
The family now wants the district, county and state to consider common sense changes when it comes to COVID-19 testing in schools so other teams and players can see their seasons through.
The South Orangetown School District says team quarantines can be lifted with a negative "lab-based" PCR test and that in this case, the student's second test didn't meet that requirement.