Last week, we found out that Kentucky is one of at least three SEC schools that is only requiring its football players to take the antibody test for the coronavirus unless they are symptomatic or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive. Six of the 106 players that returned to campus tested positive for a past infection and have since been cleared to return to voluntary workouts, but as activities increase over the next month, the testing process will ramp up as well.
In an episode of “BBN Live” hosted by Tom Leach this afternoon, Dr. Robert Hosey, the team physician for UK Athletics and the football team, said that as players begin practice and are therefore unable to maintain social distancing practices or wear personal protective equipment, he expects testing to expand.
“We can speculate a little bit but I think as we progress with activity and there are certain things you’re not going to be able to do. They’re not going to be able to socially distance when you put on pads and start football practice and they’re not going to be able to wear masks when they’re practicing, so those tried-and-true mitigation strategies are going to be things that are compromised.
“I think we’ve always expected that some sort of viral testing, diagnostic testing is going to be incorporated into our protocols and you’re going to see that happening and we’re still waiting on a bigger level to see what testing becomes available. Is it going to get better? Are we going to have point-of-care testing where you can do more rapid testing? But, we fully expect that diagnostic testing will be part of our protocol going forward, especially as we advance into practices and — potentially and hopefully — into competitive seasons.”
Jim Madaleno, UK’s Executive Associate Athletic Director of Sports Medicine and Performance, said that the process of bringing players back on campus has been “challenging” due to the changing nature of the virus, but praised the players for adhering to the protocols to prevent the spread of the virus, such as wearing face masks and undergoing daily symptom and temperature checks.
“Challenging is the best word I can use because we have to stay abreast on all of this, but I will say this, as we have progressed through it, our student athletes have been absolutely remarkable in compliance to wearing the face masks, to understanding that they play a huge role in the potential spread of the virus and knowing that if they follow these mitigation strategies that we’ve educated them with and hammered home and communicated with their parents about to help us hammer those home in discussions with their sons or daughters every evening when they have the casual conversation, I think that has been our best strategy, and kudos to all our student-athletes that have followed that and — knock on wood — luckily, we have not experienced an upsurge as some of the other institutions have, either by attending some off-campus gatherings or those kind of things.”
Currently, the football, volleyball, and men’s basketball teams are on campus; in July, the men’s and women’s soccer teams and women’s basketball teams will join them. UK is planning for all students to return to campus for the fall semester in August, with the first day of in-person classes scheduled for August 17.
#BBN, it’s time for another episode of BBN Live presented by http://eCoachsports.com! Tune in as UK Sports Network's Tom Leach chats with Jim Madaleno and Dr. Robert Hosey.
Posted by Kentucky Wildcats on Tuesday, June 30, 2020