Virginia Athletics reported zero positive COVID-19 test results out of the 1,138 tests administered to student-athletes and athletics staff between Nov. 16 and Nov. 22. This maintains the athletics department’s positivity rate at 0.8 percent. This is the second week in a row that Virginia Athletics has reported no positive tests among both student-athletes and staff.
Although there were no positive results this week, “all positive tests are reported to the Thomas Jefferson Health District of the Virginia Department of Health,” the Virginia Athletics press release stated. “Those individuals will self isolate for at least 10 days or until symptoms are resolving plus 24-hour fever free.”
The University follows ACC testing protocols that dictate that student-athletes participating in “high risk” sports should be tested three times per week. This past week, the only teams competing in “high-risk” sports were men’s soccer and football. Going forward, football is the only fall sport still in session. However, men’s and women’s basketball — which begin competition this week — are also considered “high risk” sports and while have to abide by the tri-weekly testing requirement. Swimming and diving are considered “low risk” sports and team members are tested once per week. The swimming and diving team competed in its last intercollegiate meet of the fall this past weekend.
All testing for Virginia student athletes is administered by U.Va. Health with the exception of the COVID-19 testing for the football team before each of their games. That testing is administered by Mako Medical — an independent third-party laboratory based in North Carolina.
No student-athletes or coaches from Virginia football were withheld from play due to COVID-19 concerns in Saturday’s 55-15 victory over Abilene Christian. This marked the Cavaliers’ fourth consecutive week with no players or coaches withheld from matches, along with its third consecutive win. Virginia looks to extend both of these streaks when it faces Florida State Saturday.
Gov. Ralph Northam implemented intensified COVID-19 measures Nov. 13, which included a reduction on gathering sizes from 250 people to 25. Under the previous state guidelines, Virginia was able to host up to 1,000 attendees at athletics events such as football games throughout the season. The athletics department reserved this capacity for families of players and staff with the exception of last week when the University allowed 150 students to attend through a lottery system. However, the updated guidelines for sports venues now restricts capacity to 250 attendees. Accordingly, attendance for Virginia’s football game against Abilene Christian Nov. 21 was limited again to just family members of athletes and staff. The athletics department anticipates the same restrictions will apply for the last home football game against Boston College Dec. 5.
COVID-19 continues to impact college football — and all college athletics — across the country. In Week 12 of college football, 17 games were canceled or postponed due to COVID-19. Most notably in the ACC was the cancellation of the match between No. 4 Clemson and Florida State that was postponed after a Clemson player tested positive late Friday night. The Tigers did make the trip to Tallahassee, Fla., but the Seminoles were not comfortable playing.
The University has increased the number of tests administered, as students prepared to travel home for the remainder of the fall semester, resulting in a relatively low positivity rate at 0.46 percent. Between Nov. 15 and Nov. 21, 9,445 tests were given to members of the University community, with 43 positive results.
As of Nov. 25, there are 50 active cases of Virginia faculty, staff, students and contract employees. One percent of the University's quarantine dorms and one percent of the University’s isolation dorms are filled — the former are reserved for those who have been exposed and the latter for those who tested positive for COVID-19.
Although the majority of Virginia’s students are expected to return home for Thanksgiving, those remaining on campus or in the Charlottesville area will have mandatory weekly asymptomatic testing. Student-athletes that will remain on campus will follow ACC testing protocols.
The University updates is COVID-19 tracker each day Monday through Friday by 4 p.m., and it includes all of the testing administered to student-athletes with the exception of the football team’s testing done 24-hours prior to game day.