Iowa Athletes, Staff Sign 'Pledge' During COVID-19 Pandemic

John Bohnenkamp

Iowa athletics director Gary Barta said on Monday that the athletics department staff and returning athletes have had to sign a "pledge" upon returning to campus during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Barta said the agreement was not a release.

"It’s more of a commitment and an understanding that in order to reduce the possibility of someone getting infected, we all have to take personal responsibility," Barta said during his press conference at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Iowa reported two more positive COVID-19 tests out of 109 conducted during the week of June 8-14, bringing the total number of positive tests to three out of 346 that have been conducted. Testing began on May 29.

Iowa's campus and facilities were closed in mid-March because of the pandemic.

Iowa athletics director Gary Barta begins to remove his mask before Monday's press conference. (Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen for USA Today Sports)

Athletes at Ohio State have had to sign a similar statement.

Iowa released a statement Monday afternoon:

Following the positive test result, protocol established by UI Athletics and medical staff, including contact tracing procedures, is being followed to ensure the safety of all UI Athletics student-athletes and staff. This mandatory protocol also includes isolation for the individuals who test positive, and quarantine for those individuals who might have been exposed to someone with the virus.

Everyone who attended Monday's press conference had to wear masks and had their temperatures taken when entering the arena. They were also asked questions, such as whether they had a cough or fever in the previous 24 hours.

Barta, who said he has signed the pledge, said everyone who enters the athletic facilities get a similar test daily.

Barta said his coronavirus test was negative.

"We’re still in the middle of trying to figure out the pandemic," he said. "I feel good about the way we’re trying to bring people back."