After conducting 703 COVID-19 tests over the last seven days, 22 Virginia student-athletes and athletics staff members tested positive for the virus, Virginia Athletics announced Monday. The positivity rate for these tests was 3.1 percent.
This past week’s positive COVID-19 test results more than doubled Virginia Athletics’ total number of positive cases reported since testing for student-athletes and staff began July 5 — the number jumping from 20 to 42. As Virginia Athletics has conducted a total of 3,805 tests since July, the department’s overall positivity rate is 1.1 percent.
“The individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 were notified according to local health guidelines as a means to trace contacts,” the press release said. “Those individuals will self-isolate for at least 10 days, or until symptoms are gone plus three days fever free (whichever is longer) and be medically evaluated until they have been cleared to resume daily sports functions.”
Virginia Athletics added that known close contacts of individuals who tested positive will be asked to self-quarantine for two weeks. They will also not be able to participate in athletics activities during this period.
According to Jim Daves, assistant athletics director for media relations, in-season COVID-19 testing reports will not include information on whether any student-athletes testing positive have been hospitalized. This contrasts with Virginia Athletics' pre-season reports, which always included if student-athletes were hospitalized.
This is the latest Virginia Athletics testing update since five new coronavirus cases were reported Sept. 12, four of which involved student-athletes who had recently returned to Grounds.
Several athletic departments across the country have struggled with positive COVID-19 cases and contract tracing within their programs. Virginia Tech and Virginia’s football game was postponed from its original Sept. 19 date due to COVID-19 concerns at Virginia Tech. Other schools — including Memphis and Baylor — have also canceled games recently for similar reasons.
Notably, Virginia football Coach Bronco Mendenhall confirmed that, as of Monday, Virginia football still has zero positive COVID-19 cases within the team. Based on Mendenhall’s comments, none of the 22 new COVID-19 cases found in the last seven days are linked to the Virginia football team.
“[Zero positive COVID-19 tests is] an amazing accomplishment by [the football players],” Mendenhall said. “And I'm looking forward to helping them play football now in a real game and hopefully get a reward for all of their hard work, so far.”
There have been no cases among the football team since three players received positive results during summer training in July.
These new cases come in the wake of on-Grounds move-in, which was estimated to bring around 4,400 students into on-Grounds dorms, and the conclusion of the second week of in-person classes. Since Wednesday, the University has mandated COVID-19 testing for four first-year dorms — Balz-Dobie, Lefevre, Kellogg and Echols — which resulted in the identification of 35 positive cases among the 580 students tested.
As of Monday, there have been 562 positive cases of COVID-19 among University faculty, staff, students and contract employees since Aug. 17 — 508 which have been student cases. The largest increase in daily cases reported on the tracker came Friday when 60 new cases were registered.
There are currently 3,241 COVID-19 cases in the Thomas Jefferson Health District, which includes both Charlottesville and Albemarle County. Of those cases, 1,199 are in Albemarle County and another 1,085 are in Charlottesville.
This story has been updated to include additional information about Virginia Athletics' in-season COVID-19 testing reports.