STATE COLLEGE — Eight Penn State student-athletes have tested positive for COVID-19 and 66 student-athletes’ tests are pending, according to the latest coronavirus update from Penn State athletics.
According to Penn State, its coronavirus-related protocol states that infected student-athletes will be isolated for 14 days and retested. Contact tracing procedures have been implemented for those who have been in contact with COVID-19 positive student-athletes. The university has tested 466 student-athletes.
The university did not disclose the respective sports of the coronavirus-infected student-athletes. Athletes representing the football, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's basketball and women's volleyball have returned to campus for preseason workouts.
Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour on July 1 offered the program’s first testing numbers and shared that no Penn State student-athletes tested positive for COVID-19 during the return-to-campus period. Players quarantined in local hotels for seven days before returning to campus where they were tested.
“We obviously have been testing our student-athletes and staff upon their return,” Barbour said last month. “We have, as a university and as an athletic department, made a decision to report those results every two weeks. We’ll do it on Wednesday.”
Wednesday’s release comes less than a week after the University of Iowa and Michigan State University announced the suspension of workouts due to coronavirus outbreaks. Iowa’s basketball halted workouts on Tuesday after two players tested positive for COVID-19. Michigan State’s football program last Friday ceased workouts following positive coronavirus test results for a staff member and two football players. The suspension of workouts was Michigan State’s second.
Rutgers on Saturday suspended football workouts after six players tested positive for COVID-19.
Penn State hasn’t indicated it will pause workouts following the eight positive tests.
“The health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, staff and the broader community are of the utmost importance,” read the school’s statement. “Therefore, as part of the protocols established in the return to campus plan by the Penn State Athletics medical staff and in consultation with University, local and national officials and guidelines, individuals with a positive test have been put into isolation for 14 days and will be retested at that point.”
Penn State football was the first to arrive in State College, and Barbour’s early July updated stated 102 student-athletes were tested at the time. Penn State on July 15 shared that 178 student-athletes were tested with zero positives.
The 466 Nittany Lions student-athletes tested as part of the program’s July 29 coronavirus update indicated 288 additional athletes were tested.
“We expect our student-athletes to follow CDC guidelines for limiting the spread of COVID-19, including wearing masks, practicing social distancing, washing their hands regularly and not gathering in large groups,” Penn State said in its latest statement.
Penn State will release its next coronavirus update on Aug. 12.