Five men who attended an Indiana high school basketball tournament in March died after contracting a coronavirus, and at least a dozen others fell ill as a result of the four game windfall.
Jim DeSalle, Paul Loggan, Larry Rush, Roscoe Taylor III and Charles Johnson have all died in recent weeks after participating in a March 6 game at Lawrence Central High School in Indianapolis where 2,800 spectators filled the stands.
The event took place despite the confirmation of a COVID-19 case in the state that morning, leaving Community Health North, just six kilometers from the school.
“We started receiving calls asking if we were going to continue playing,” Lawrence Central sport director Ryan Banas told the Indianapolis Star.
Roscoe Taylor III, Paul Loggan, Charles Johnson, Jim DeSalle and Larry Rush have all died in recent weeks after their March 6 presence.
Paul Loggan, 57, was director of athletics at North Central and alongside his counterparts at Warren Central and Crispus Attucks, gave approval for the games to continue.
For the evening’s second game, Jim DeSalle (left), 70, sat by the North Central bench. Larry Rush (right), 67, was an Uber pilot and was at the match to support Lawrence North
Charles Johnson, 78 (left) attended the games on March 3, 6 and 7. He died on March 27. Roscoe Taylor III (right) died on April 5
Elsewhere in Indiana, 63 other high school games were also held.
It is not known where the men contracted the virus, but it was noted that there were a lot of hugs, handshakes and high fives during the section semifinals. The NBA suspended its season the following week. Indiana didn’t lock herself up for two weeks after the high school cut.
Loggan, 57, was director of athletics at North Central and alongside his counterparts at Warren Central and Crispus Attucks, gave approval for the games to take place that night. Loggan spent most of the match standing at the end of his team’s bench and was in the school gymnasium for two hours.
Larry Rush, 67, was an Uber driver and was there to support Lawrence North.
Taylor, 43, worked in a cafeteria at Stonybrook High School and sat at the lower level of the Warren Central section. His fever started on March 20 and he died on April 5. Her father, Roscoe Taylor III, 66, also had the virus and died on March 29.
Johnson, 78, was placed three rows behind Warren Central’s bench next to his wife Kay – who also fell ill but was not tested.
Johnson attended the games on March 3, 6 and 7, and went to the grocery store and church this weekend before starting to show symptoms. He died on March 27 and Kay does not know who got the virus first.
For the evening’s second game, Jim DeSalle, 70, sat near the North Central bench. Earlier in the day, he was at a youth match in the township. The following night, he was photographed cutting a piece of the sectional net.
At the time of the first case – a person recently returned from Boston – the Indiana community was not considered to be at high risk of contracting COVID-19.
“There is no permanent risk to the public,” State Department of Health commissioner Dr. Kris Box said on that day. Bur Box added: “The situation with COVID-19 is changing rapidly and we can expect to see more cases in Indiana in the future. “
At 2:05 p.m. that day, the Indiana High School Sports Association (IHSAA) reassured people about environmental safety.
“We will continue to follow developments and listen to medical experts and if it becomes necessary to make adjustments to high school sporting events, we will work with our member schools to take every precaution to ensure a healthy and safe environment for everyone involved, they said in a statement.
Fans prepare for Lawrence Central for the match against the Irish Cathedral and Crispus Attucks Tigers during the IHSAA Cup game at Lawrence Central High School on Wednesday March 4
Lawrence North’s assistant Jim Stanbrough, 64, fell ill after sitting at a table with DeSalle. His wife Marta also contracted the virus but his symptoms were milder
Lawrence North’s assistant Jim Stanbrough, 64, fell ill after sitting at a table with DeSalle the following night after the games were over.
Other Stanbrough school staff were seated at other tables.
“Tonight is something I will never forget,” said Stanbrough. “Jim and I sat at a table, just the two of us. I will always remember it. I gave him? Did he give it to me? I do not know the answer. There were a lot of people connected to it. “
Stanbrough felt sick immediately after dinner and on March 10 went to the doctor where he tested positive for influenza. He was in and out of the emergency room on March 17 and 19 and tested positive for coronavirus on March 23.
DeSalle died on April 1. Stanbrough was readmitted to hospital on April 2 and remained there for six days after suffering from blood clots in the lungs and legs. He had no underlying illness.
His wife Marta also contracted the virus, but his symptoms were milder and included loss of taste and odor.
Lawrence North’s colleague Gerad Good, 49, fell ill with a fever four days later. He suffered from asthma and was sick for 16 days, but the virus did not enter his lungs. He lost 22 pounds.
The virus may have spread to the community earlier in the week.
The virus spreads through respiratory droplets and can last for several days on surfaces.
Khyrie Abdullah, 33, was not at the March 6 match, but attended the tournament the previous two nights.
Abdullah, athletics coach at Lawrence Central and assistant football coach at Lawrence Central, was hospitalized at Mach 16 and ventilated on March 19. He remained on the respiratory system for 13 days and has tested positive for the virus in the meantime.
“I probably walked with it for two weeks and had no idea,” said Abdullah. ‘I’m lucky. Doctors said my age probably helped. My wife went into superhero mode. I was away for two weeks and thought it was two hours. It was like someone had just turned off the lights.
Scott Frank, 51, whose son played on the cathedral team on March 4, fell ill on March 11 and tested positive on March 20.
Some players got sick too. Pictured is a March 6 match between North Central and Warren Central
“The problem with any community event like a basketball tournament is that you have a group of people nearby,” said Dr. Cole Beeler, a doctor specializing in infectious diseases at Indiana University Health. In the photo, students of the Lawrence North Wildcats go crazy after their team’s game is underway against the Lawrence Central Bears during the IHSAA boys’ section game at Lawrence Central High School on March 4.
“The timeline fits the sectional window, but at that time, we thought it was mostly limited to Washington,” said Frank.
“I didn’t even think at the time that we could be affected, even when we heard about this first case on March 6. There was so much energy in the building for these games. It was fantastic. I was looking forward to seeing what Lawrence North could do in the area. “
The Indianapolis Star reports that this week’s tournament participants who contracted a coronavirus are the parents of a sophomore from Lawrence North, a teacher from Hamilton Southeastern, a referee and a videographer.
Players also displayed symptoms.
“The problem with any community event like a basketball tournament is that you have a group of people nearby,” said Dr. Cole Beeler, doctor of infectious diseases at Indiana University Health, to the Indianapolis Star.
“You have a bunch of people sitting next to each other. The other thing is that people are yelling, yelling and probably cheering on their teams. We know that you probably eliminate many more droplets when speaking and shouting than if you breathed or spoke in a normal voice.
In addition to the social isolation six feet away, the CDC recommended that everyone wear a face covering to hide their nose and mouth in public.
CDC: HOW TO SLOW DOWN THE DISTRIBUTION OF CORONAVIRUSES
CDC: WHAT IS SOCIAL DISTANCE?
Also called “physical distance,” according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), it means keeping some space between you and other people outside your home.
It is recommended because cases of COVID-19 can spread when an infected person coughing, sneezing, or talking, and droplets from the mouth or nose are launched into the air and land in the mouth or nose of people nearby. The droplets can also be inhaled into the lungs.
To practice social or physical distance, the CDC recommends the following:
- Avoid large and small gatherings in private places and public spaces
- Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when you are around others
- Stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) from other people even when wearing a face covering
- Avoid using any type of public transport, carpooling or taxis
- Use mail order for drugs
- Use the grocery delivery service
- Work at home
- Use digital / distance learning