A number of schools have reported positive tests for coronavirus as student-athletes begin returning to campus this week to resume voluntary in-person workouts.
The University of Iowa reported 1 positive test among 237 tests conducted on student-athletes, staff, and coaches who returned to campus. Alabama has reported 5 positive tests among its football players, Auburn has reported 3, while Oklahoma State and Iowa State have also reported positive tests.
At Iowa State, one student worker in the athletics department tested positive initially, and four student-athletes from different sports “experienced symptoms after being in close contact with individuals outside of the athletics department who have been infected.”
In all cases, schools have implemented isolation protocols in an attempt to stop the spread.
Schools have not released the identity of those who have tested positive, and most programs are being very secretive about which student-athletes are returning to campus and when. A spokesperson for the University of Iowa says that no swimmers have returned to campus yet.
So far, the only confirmed reports of NCAA swimmers resuming on-campus workouts are Louisville and Texas A&M, both of which were expected to resume training under strict guidelines on Monday.
Most schools are using a tiered system to return student-athletes to campus for voluntary physical workouts this summer after the NCAA lifted its ban on in-person activities on June 1. Every school reported so far is requiring coronavirus testing before student-athletes, staff, or coaches can resume on-campus workouts.
Like many other schools, Iowa is prioritizing fall sport athletes in its return. Wisconsin is doing the same, with football and volleyball being the first to return, followed by basketball teams, and declined to say when the school’s swimming & diving programs are returning to campus.
For Iowa, with 1 positive test among 237, the tested infection rate among those returning to campus is lower than the national average. In total, 1 in about 165 Americans have tested positive for the coronavirus, though the rate of 1 in 237 at Iowa is likely higher than the national rate of those who are currently infected.