The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Missouri State University have both temporarily paused athletic programs amid the coronavirus pandemic.
UNC – Chapel Hill
UNC’s flagship campus started classes last week, on August 10. But positive COVID-19 tests exploded: UNC saw 10 positive coronavirus cases the week before classes, but registered 130 during the first week of classes. The school shifted all of its undergraduate classes to remote learning online.
At the time, the school said student-athletes were among the student groups who could remain on campus, along with international students and students without reliable internet access at home.
But two days later, the school has shut down athletics for a 24-hour period, according to the Raleigh News & Observer. All of the UNC Tar Heel sports programs will halt for a full day, until “at least 5 p.m. tomorrow.” That includes the swimming & diving programs.
The school is currently seeing at 13.6% of its coronavirus tests coming back positive – a rate that has nearly doubled compared to the three weeks before classes began.
In addition to UNC, Notre Dame also shifted its academic programs online after positive COVID tests jumped to 15.9% of the tests given at the school since August 3. Several other colleges have preemptively moved programs online even before classes are set to resume. That list includes Stanford and Michigan State.
Missouri State returned to in-person classes on Monday. But the athletic department has confirmed to SwimSwam that the school’s swimming teams are “taking a two-week hiatus from team practices and activities as a precautionary measure.”
The break in training comes after one swimmer tested positive for COVID-19. The school says the positive test put in motion Missouri State’s policy for contact tracing.
“Because the contact tracing affected the vast majority of our team members, they decided to temporarily halt all team activities and workouts as a precautionary measure,” an athletic department representative said.