Virginia Athletics reported zero positive COVID-19 test results Monday out of 1,135 tests administered to student-athletes and staff between Nov. 9 and Nov. 15. The total positivity rate of the athletic department since athletes began returning to Grounds July 5 is now 0.8 percent.
This week’s 0 percent positivity rate represents the culmination of Virginia Athletics’ steadily decreasing numbers, which have been dropping consistently since the fall season began. Only one student-athlete tested positive last week.
“All positive tests are reported to the Thomas Jefferson Health District of the Virginia Department of Health,” the press release stated. “Those individuals will self-isolate for at least 10 days or until symptoms are resolving plus 24-hours fever free.”
As dictated by ACC protocol, all Virginia student-athletes participating in “high-risk” sports that are in the midst of competition — which, this past week, included football, men’s soccer and women’s soccer — are tested three times a week. The other Virginia team currently in season — swimming and diving — is considered a “low-risk” sport by the ACC Medical Advisory board, which means its team members are not required to undergo asymptomatic testing. The ACC just updated its winter sports protocols, requiring men’s and women’s basketball, wrestling teams and staff members to be tested three times a week as well.
All COVID-19 testing for Virginia student-athletes is administered by U.Va. Health with the exception of the testing the football team receives the day before games. This set of tests is administered by Mako Medical — an independent third-party, North Carolina-based laboratory.
No Virginia football players or coaches were withheld from Saturday’s win against Louisville, one week after it had been postponed due to an outbreak of cases in Louisville’s program. The Cardinals, on the other hand, were without seven players, including standout junior wide receiver Tutu Atwell. The Cavaliers look to extend their streak of no unavailable players for their fourth consecutive week Saturday against Abilene Christian.
Virginia Athletics held a ticket lottery for 150 students to attend Saturday’s football game, marking the first time fan attendance was made available to more than just family and friends of players and coaches. Scott Stadium maintained compliance with the Commonwealth’s maximum number of 1,000 attendees at sports venues.
Across the country, several teams’ football schedules have been impacted by COVID-19. Most recently in the ACC, Pittsburgh and Georgia Tech postponed their game scheduled for Saturday to Dec. 12 after both football programs paused all activities due to issues related to COVID-19. This marked the sixth postponed ACC game of the season.
Overall, nationwide, 15 of the 49 college football games that were scheduled to be played Saturday were either delayed to a future date or canceled due to COVID-19 issues. In addition to the ACC, games from seven other conferences were affected, including the AAC, Big Ten, Conference USA, Mountain West, Pac-12 and SEC. With five games impacted by COVID-19, including the highly anticipated meeting between No. 1 Alabama and LSU, the SEC had more games either postponed or canceled than any other conference.
The University has seen a small increase in the number of cases among faculty, staff, students and contract employees as students prepare to leave Grounds for an extended winter break. The University reported 39 active cases Nov. 9, yet by Thursday, that number had jumped to 66 active cases after 40 new cases were reported among University faculty, staff, students and contract employees over a three-day span. The tracker also reported its highest number of student cases since Oct. 20 when 16 positive tests were reported Friday.
As of Monday, there are a total of 78 active cases of COVID-19 in the University community, of which 59 are students. Currently, 2 percent of the University’s quarantine dorms are filled, along with 1 percent of its isolation dorms — the former are reserved for students who have been exposed to and the latter for those who tested positive for COVID-19.
These statistics are updated on the University’s COVID-19 Tracker Monday through Friday at 4 p.m. and include nearly all tests administered to student-athletes, with the exception of the football team’s round of testing conducted 24 hours before game day.