A diagram of where March 10 UVM basketball game fans sat shows a big cluster of Covid-19 positive cases in one section, and a positive test in the media booth, too.
Dave Reissig, an 82-year-old St. Albans resident, sat toward the back of section 2 with a friend. Within days, he came down with laryngitis, which he thought was from the cheering, according to his daughter Kris Owens. The symptoms turned into a cold and then a fever, and he died of the virus on March 30. Bernie Juskiewicz and Mike Rappold, former neighbors in Cambridge, Vt., sat one row apart in section 4. Both Juskiewicz and Rappold and their wives, Suzan and Rae, all tested positive for the virus. Bernie and Mike, both avid UVM fans, both later died of the virus. Fans who later came down with Covid-19 remembered the evening with a combination of nostalgia and horror, as they recounted the enthusiasm of the sold-out crowd, with fans seated shoulder to shoulder. “I just remember the sense of foreboding,” said Suzanne Garrity, a 54-year-old Burlington resident. As the UVM team moved closer to victory, an older woman turned around to offer Garrity high fives. All the while Garrity was thinking, “Oh I don’t think you should be doing that,” she recalled. Sure enough, Garrity and her husband Roger both came down with flu-like symptoms within a week, she said, though they were never able to get a Covid test.."
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