“USA Curling and Potomac Curling Club worked closely to ensure that all participants, officials and volunteers were notified as soon as a confirmation was received of the first positive test,” the statement continued. “Additionally, USA Curling continues to communicate with relevant local public health officials to help to keep everyone safe and healthy during this time.”
USA Curling CEO Jeff Plush told Fox 5 on Thursday that at least four people tested positive for covid-19 while the rest are presumed positive. When contacted by The Washington Post on Friday evening, Plush referred to the organization’s statement.
The day after the event’s conclusion, Potomac Curling Club announced it was canceling the rest of the 2019-2020 curling season and shutting down ice operations. The club said it will experience “$14,500 of lost revenue” but “will likely still end the year in positive financial territory.”
Sara Shuster, who participated in the event, told Minnesota’s Fox 21 this week that she experienced shortness of breath and lost her sense of smell or taste within days of returning home from Maryland. Shuster works as a pharmacist and therefore had access to early testing. Shuster’s husband, John, a gold medalist for the men’s Olympic curling team, said the family is in self-quarantine.
Shuster said in a since-removed Facebook post that four days after returning home from the Club National Championships she felt “excruciating back pain.” She also experienced shortness of breath walking up the stairs and couldn’t stand for extended periods of time without losing her breath. Shuster added that “there are almost 20 confirmed curlers from the club nationals to have [covid-19]” and there “are just as many who are awaiting test results or cannot get tested.”
Athena Dalrymple, whose husband worked the event as a volunteer, told Fox 5 that they were both told by their doctor not to get tested and to assume they would test positive for covid-19.
“There’s absolutely a level of fear,” Dalrymple said. “There’s no question. It’s a deadly disease. You don’t know whether you’re going to be in that percentage that dies or that percentage that lives. That’s not a real comfortable place to be sitting.”
A Prince George’s County Health Department spokeswoman told Fox 5 on Thursday that the county doesn’t believe any of Maryland’s confirmed covid-19 cases are linked to the curling event.
USA Curling also announced Friday it had canceled the 2020 Arena National Championships, which were set to take place April 27 to May 2 in Gillette, Wyo.