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Virginia Athletics reports five new positive COVID-19 cases after more student-athletes return to Grounds

The new cases brings Virginia’s total number of positive tests to nine since July

<p>In recent weeks, a number of Virginia student-athletes have returned to Grounds to resume practice and competition.</p>

In recent weeks, a number of Virginia student-athletes have returned to Grounds to resume practice and competition.

Five Virginia student-athletes tested positive for COVID-19 after the sixth round of testing was completed, Virginia Athletics announced Friday. All five athletes were individuals who recently returned to Grounds. 

The new group of positive cases coincides with the return of 15 Virginia teams to Grounds. In the last several weeks, the number of student-athletes in Virginia’s testing program has grown from 282 to 568 — a 101 percent increase.

Including these five cases, there have now been a total of nine positive COVID-19 tests among Virginia student-athletes since teams began returning to Grounds in July. None of the nine student-athletes required hospitalization.

“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 the football team did not report any new cases, meaning the five positive tests were from one of the other 24 varsity programs currently on Grounds. Virginia football has only had three positive cases since beginning conditioning July 5 and has reported none since July 24.

Virginia Athletics’ COVID-19 track record contrasts starkly with several other ACC schools as they have experienced much larger numbers of positive cases. Just one week after reporting zero cases, Clemson announced Friday that 14 student-athletes across five sports tested positive. Last week, Miami quarantined all student-athletes after 27 players tested positive for COVID-19. Additionally, N.C. State paused athletic activities after discovering 27 positive cases in the athletics department across student-athletes, coaches and staff.

Virginia’s sports teams will begin competition soon as the 2020 fall sports season quickly approaches. Men’s and women’s soccer will kick off their season the weekend of Sept. 10 and football will play its season opener Sept. 19. Cross country and field hockey will return to action Sept. 25 and Sept. 26, respectively, and volleyball will start Oct. 2.

This latest testing update from Virginia Athletics will be the last one before Virginia resumes competition next weekend. Throughout the season, Virginia’s teams will follow the protocols set forth by the ACC. Some examples of rules dictated by the conference’s Medical Advisory Group include a requirement that all athletes competing in football, field hockey, men’s and women’s soccer or volleyball must be tested three times each week. Additionally, every student-athlete who tests positive must undergo a cardiac evaluation before returning to athletic activities. 

After the Pac-12 and Big Ten canceled their own seasons due to COVID-19 concerns, Virginia and the rest of the ACC will face unique and unprecedented conditions when the 2020 fall season begins in a week’s time.

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