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Virginia Athletics reports one positive COVID-19 test over the past seven days, ending the Cavaliers’ run in the ACC men’s basketball tournament

Out of 1,481 COVID-19 tests administered to the athletic department, one resulted in a positive result

<p>No. 4 Virginia was selected — as expected — to participate in the 2021 March Madness tournament, however, now it is just a question as to if the Cavaliers will be able to compete.</p>

No. 4 Virginia was selected — as expected — to participate in the 2021 March Madness tournament, however, now it is just a question as to if the Cavaliers will be able to compete.

After administering 1,481 COVID-19 tests between March 8 and March 14, the Virginia athletic department reported a single positive test among student athletes and staff. Over the course of the week, the University’s athletic department yielded a 0.07 percent positivity rate, while since testing began Jul. 5, the athletic department has had an overall 0.8 percent positivity rate.

The positive test was “reported to the Blue Ridge Health District [formerly known as the Thomas Jefferson Health District] of the Virginia Department of Health” the press release stated. “The individual(s) who test positive for COVID-19 were notified according to local health guidelines as a means to trace contacts. Those individuals will self-isolate for at least 10 days, or until symptoms are resolving plus 24-hours fever free — whichever is longer — and be medically evaluated before they will be cleared to resume daily sports participation.” 

Furthermore, “known close contacts of those who test positive, as determined by the Virginia Department of Health, will also be asked to self-quarantine.” Assuming individuals remain without symptoms, they can be released “after day 10 without testing, or after day seven with a negative diagnostic or rapid test performed on or after the fifth day following exposure.”

The announcement of the positive test within the men’s basketball program came Friday, just a day after the team’s buzzer-beater victory over Syracuse, which allowed the Cavaliers to advance to the ACC semifinal match. With the positive test and subsequent contact tracing, the Cavaliers were unable to further their campaign for what would have been their fourth ACC Championship. According to Matt Norlander from CBS Sports, the positive test was from a Virginia player who played March 11 against the Orange, narrowing down the potential positive to the eight players who were available that night.

No. 4 Virginia was selected — as expected — to participate in the 2021 March Madness tournament. However, now it is just a question of whether the Cavaliers will be able to compete. In order to enter the “bubble” setting of the tournament, all players, staff and managers will need seven consecutive negative test results. In a press conference, Coach Tony Bennett said the team is quarantining and undergoing contact tracing until Thursday. The plan is to arrive in Indianapolis on Friday.

Bennett also noted that all but one player has come up with negative tests, so Virginia is expected to have the majority of their roster in attendance. It is anticipated that the player who tested positive will miss the first two rounds. 

Outside of the men’s basketball team, no other Virginia sports teams have faced COVID-19 related issues over the past week. The cases among the athletic department have been just one positive test over the past week, despite significant numbers of positive cases early in the semester. This reflects the trend of the overall University, which has also seen a sharp decline in cases.

Virginia athletics follows the ACC protocols, so that “high risk” sports — including field hockey, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s basketball and wrestling — are tested three times per week. On the other hand, “low risk” sports — track and field, swimming, diving, golf and tennis — receive testing just once per week. Assuming the men’s basketball team remains able to travel to Indianapolis for the March Madness tournament, they will be tested every day while in the tournament “bubble.”

All positive COVID-19 cases are recorded among the full University COVID-19 tracker. Currently in the University population, there are 32 active tests among students, faculty and staff. Two percent of quarantine beds — for those who have been exposed to someone who tested positive — are full, while one percent of isolation beds — those who have tested positive for COVID-19 — are filled. Each weekday, the University COVID-19 tracker is updated by 4 p.m.

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