Four Virginia student-athletes and staff tested positive for COVID-19 out of the 939 tests administered between Oct. 12 and Oct. 18, Virginia Athletics announced Monday. The positivity rate for tests conducted last week was 0.4 percent while the overall positivity rate since student-athletes began returning to Grounds July 5 is 1.1 percent.
“All positive tests were reported to the Thomas Jefferson Health District of the Virginia Department of Health,” the press release read. “Those individuals will self-isolate for at least 10 days, or until symptoms are resolving plus 24-hours fever free.”
ACC protocols require student-athletes of all “high risk” in-season sports — football, volleyball, men’s and women’s soccer and field hockey — to be tested three times a week. Student-athletes from “medium-risk” fall sports — which includes men’s and women’s cross-country — must be tested just once every two weeks, as they are seen to carry less risk of COVID-19 exposure.
All COVID-19 testing for Virginia student-athletes is administered by U.Va. Health with the exception of the testing of the football team the day before games. This set of tests is administered by Mako Medical — an independent third-party health care diagnostic laboratory based in Raleigh, N.C.
For Virginia’s football game against Wake Forest this past Saturday, only one athlete was unavailable due to quarantine or isolation. This is a drop from last week when seven players were unavailable against NC State.
Almost one month ago, the University announced stricter COVID-19 restrictions — emphasizing the need for universal mask-wearing and social distancing, prohibiting visitors and unnecessary travel in the Charlottesville area and restricting gatherings to five people. These rules and their two-week extension, which was announced Oct. 6, have contributed to a decrease in the number of cases in the University community — over the three-week period, the daily average of positive COVID-19 cases among the student body fell from 23 to five cases per day.
On Oct. 13, Dean of Students Allen Groves announced the decision “to raise the permitted maximum size of gatherings on and off Grounds from five to 10 individuals.” The rest of the restrictions remain indefinitely.
As of Monday, there are a total of 56 active cases of COVID-19 in the University community, which includes cases among faculty, staff, students and contract employees. Of these 56 active cases, 36 were student cases. Six percent of the University’s quarantine rooms — reserved for students who may have been exposed to someone that tested positive for COVID-19 — are currently occupied. Additionally, 5 percent of its isolation rooms — used for students who have tested positive for COVID-19 — are occupied.
The University’s COVID-19 tracker includes all of the tests administered to student-athletes and is updated Monday through Friday by 4 p.m.