The Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven has been converted to a COVID-19 vaccination center, but it won’t impact high school sports practices or basketball games in the facility.
There are 22 vaccination stations set up in the corridor of the Floyd Little Athletic Center, the long hallway located near the main entrance of the building. Health officials and Floyd Little Athletic Center officials worked together to make sure the vaccination operation would not prevent sports from being held inside the sports facility.
“We all worked together to make sure the vaccination setup would have as little impact as possible on sports in the Floyd little Athletic Center,” New Haven public schools athletic director Erik Patchkofsky said. “Yale New Haven Health officials and the New Haven Department of Public Health worked together with us to make sure we could both coexist in the building.
“We had amazing cooperation from New Haven Health Department director Maritza Bond in respect to what was needed and what we are doing. Everyone worked together the past two weeks to get this done. We have separate entrances and exits for the vaccination people and sports teams. Once games begin, we will inform all visiting teams ahead of time about the vaccination operation and revised entrances and exits.”
Due to COVID-19 concerns, the CIAC’s recently produced guidelines only allow indoor track teams in the state to practice through February. Competitive track meets will possibly be allowed in March. Competitive boys and girls basketball regular season games will begin on Feb. 8.
Patchkofsky said both doubleheaders and tripleheaders will be played on a given night at the athletic center. The times for games would likely be at 4 p.m., 5:30 and 7:30. For doubleheaders, they will be at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m.
“There will probably be two per week, plus sub-varsity games on Saturday morning,” Patchkofsky said.
With the entire foyer being used for the COVID vaccines, players and coaches will enter the athletic center through the parking lot side of the building and will exit on the Sherman Parkway side of the building, Patchkofsky said.
The metal detectors are already set up at the entrance to the athletic center. No fans are being allowed during the first week for any games in the Southern Connecticut Conference. Patchkofsky said the spectator policy for the home games will be reviewed after that.
“We are ready to start (playing games) here,” Patchkofsky said.