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Iowa Pauses Workouts For All Teams

Rise of COVID-19 cases in Iowa City leads to stoppage within athletic department.

Iowa's athletic department has paused all workouts for its teams until after Sept. 7 because of the rise in COVID-19 cases on campus, in Iowa City and in Johnson County.

“Due to the recent increase in cases in the community, we have made the decision to pause voluntary and mandatory workouts until after Labor Day,” said Dr. Andrew Peterson, a university professor and head team physician, in a statement released Monday. “We remain confident in our overall process, including testing, contact tracing and daily health screening.”

Johnson County, where Iowa City is located, has reported 1,290 COVID-19 cases in the last seven days, second-most among the 99 Iowa counties. The Iowa City metro area ranks No. 2 nationally in cases per 1,000 population in the last seven days, at 7.6.

Iowa's athletic department conducted 815 COVID-19 tests last week, with 93 positive tests (11.4 percent). Since Iowa began testing on May 29 with the reopening of the athletic department, a total of 176 positive tests, 2,560 negatives and one inconclusive test have been found.

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The Big Ten postponed all fall sports earlier this month, with a hope of having a spring season for them. Had the conference stuck to the football schedule it had issued on August 5, Iowa would have been playing host to Maryland at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday in the season opener. The original schedule, before the conference decided to play a league-only slate of games, had Iowa playing host to Northern Iowa.

Fall teams have been able to have workouts.

The Iowa athletic department protocol for a positive test includes contact tracing, mandatory isolation for individuals who have tested positive, and quarantine for those who might have been exposed to someone with the virus.