13 University of Texas football players test positive for coronavirus
Just four days after University of Texas at Austin began voluntary summer workouts for the football team, school officials confirmed13 athletes have tested positive for the new coronavirus.
All 13 players are now self-isolating, while 10 other student athletes are in self-quarantine and are asymptomatic, according to a Thursday press release. Last week, UT reported two players were self-isolating after testing positive.
The university also said four players have tested positive for antibodies. UT athletics officials did not immediately respond to questions and they did not say whether workouts would be suspended.
In a Wednesday report, athletics director Chris Del Conte said all players were required to conduct testing, physicals and COVID-19 safety training before participating in workouts, which began for the first time Monday since university activities were shut down and students were sent home in March.
“We did have some student-athletes test positive for COVID-19 and are following all of our protocols, policies and procedures for self-isolation, contact tracing and management of those affected,” Del Conte wrote. “We will continue to report the number of cases as we receive confirmation and clearance to do so.”
Across Texas, universities are seeing more student athletes testing positive for COVID-19 just days or weeks after being given clearance to return to campus. At the University of Houston, at least six athletes were confirmed positive last week, after beginning workouts June 1. The university has suspended all workouts, the Houston Chronicle reported.
An unidentified number of student athletes at Texas Tech University also received positive test results earlier this week. And at Texas A&M University, nearly five players have tested positive after returning to campus June 9, though local media reported that number has increased this week.
But athletics officials are still signaling optimism for the fall. In a Wednesday interview, A&M’s head football coach Jimbo Fisher said he is anticipating crowds of fans at A&M’s first game on Sept. 5.
“I am very encouraged because our governor has opened up outside sports to 50 percent now, I mean this early,” Fisher said. “I expect it’s going to be pretty close to normal.”
Source: Texas Tribune