Duke Releases COVID Testing Results for Sports Teams

ShawnKrest

Duke officials released the latest figures from the athletic department’s COVID-19 testing.

According to the school, Duke has administered 700 tests to 309 student-athletes, coaches and staff in the first three weeks since student-athletes began returning to campus for voluntary practice.

As of July 31, 2020, nine student-athletes were in mandatory isolation due to positive COVID-19 tests. Sixteen others who earlier tested positive went through the required isolation period and have been cleared by physicians for return to regular activity.

Based on Duke’s numbers, the student-athletes are seeing a 3.6 percent positive rate on tests and 8.1 percent of student athletes tested have been positive at some point.

According to the school, no coaches or staff have tested positive, and no teams have paused team-related activities due to testing results.

Duke also stated that the majority of student-athletes testing positive were positive upon arrival. All were asymptomatic or experienced minor symptoms, and no student-athletes required additional medical care. Treatment consisted of symptom monitoring, rest and over the counter medication.

“We are foremost concerned for player safety, and with finding ways to balance the desire to have a vibrant athletic culture on campus, with the reality that COVID-19 is a highly transmissible infection,” said infectious disease specialist Cameron Wolfe MD, associate professor of medicine at Duke and chair of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Medical Advisory Group for COVID-19. “To that end, an aggressive testing strategy is paramount -- identifying positive asymptomatic student-athletes, who may be capable of inadvertently transmitting the virus, is crucial. Duke is finding and isolating cases early in the season, prepared to quarantine when necessary, and by combining a regular batch testing program with multi-pronged mitigation strategies, we believe athletics can and will be successful at Duke.”

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