Cal Athletics: Three Student-Athletes Test Positive For COVID-19

Photo courtesy of Cal Athletics

Jeff Faraudo

Responding to a request from Cal Sports Report, Cal Athletics on Tuesday confirmed three student-athletes have tested positive for COVID-19 after returning to campus for voluntary workouts.

The athletic department said it tested 96 student-athletes — most of them football players — at University Health Services (UHS) coinciding with their arrival back on campus. 

Cal did not specify the sport in which the athletes who tested positive participate, so it remains unclear whether any or all were football players.

As a result of the positive tests, according to a statement from the department, “Cal Athletics has implemented its contact tracing and testing protocols after three student-athletes tested positive for COVID-19.”

One of the three student-athletes who tested positive has returned to his home outside the Bay Area, according to Cal.

“Contact tracing is being conducted through UHS Infection Control, Berkeley Public Health and Alameda County Public Health, and Cal Athletics will follow their recommendations for self-isolation, self-quarantine, symptom monitoring and treatment,” the news release said.

Cal did not announce whether any of the three required hospitalization.

The athletic department is not expected to release additional testing results for at least two weeks, a spokesperson said.

Student-athletes at schools across the country have tested positive, often at a higher rate than Cal reported.

Clemson’s football team has had 37 positive tests, and a total of 43 student-athletes on campus were positive. Texas Tech reported 23 positive results from 197 tests administered in its football program, of which 21 are now recovered and none were hospitalized.

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune and other media sources, other schools reporting numbers include: Iowa (17 positive results), Texas (13), Nebraska (8) and Minnesota (7).

Schools such as Houston and Kansas State have stopped voluntary workouts and returns by athletes to campus because of rising numbers of cases in their areas.

Arizona, which had one positive result among 83 student-athletes tested, has halted the return of athletes to the campus as the state deals with rising cases. But those on campus already — all football players, according to the Arizona Daily Star — will be allowed to continue working out.

A Cal spokesperson said there are no plans currently to halt the return of additional student-athletes to campus in order to begin voluntary workouts.

Here is the full statement from Cal Athletics:

Cal Athletics has implemented its contact tracing and testing protocols after three student-athletes tested positive for COVID-19. Overall, Cal Athletics has tested 96 student-athletes at University Health Services (UHS) as part of its plan for voluntary outdoor workouts.

Contact tracing is being conducted through UHS Infection Control, Berkeley Public Health and Alameda County Public Health, and Cal Athletics will follow their recommendations for self-isolation, self-quarantine, symptom monitoring and treatment. One of the student-athletes who tested positive has returned to his home outside of the Bay Area.

On June 17, Cal Athletics announced that student-athletes could return to campus in preparation for voluntary outdoor conditioning workouts. No athletic activities have begun, and out of an abundance of caution, the start of workouts has been delayed pending sufficient progress on contact tracing.

Under a comprehensive plan, protocols call for student-athletes to self-quarantine in their residences upon arrival and undergo testing for both past and current infection of COVID-19. If a student-athlete is clear and has no active infection, the next step is to receive a pre-participation physical and medical clearance. Voluntary workouts and physical activity may begin after receiving clearance.

Prior to returning to campus, all student-athletes and staff must complete mandatory educational training, which includes information on COVID-19 signs, symptoms, evaluation and testing, as well as infection prevention and control. This is in addition to any university-required training and is specific to athletic activities.

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