Another SEC school has had football players test positive for Coronavirus upon returning to campus. Three Auburn football players have been quarantined away from their teammates after testing positive for COVID-19.
Auburn players began returning to campus at staggering times on Thursday evening and underwent testing Friday before voluntary workouts were scheduled to begin Monday. All three players who tested positive were asymptomatic, a team spokesman confirmed to AL.com. The spokesman did not identify which players tested positive, but all three will be self-isolated in quarantine in a dorm separate from the one housing the rest of the team.
Upon their arrival to campus on Thursday, players were limited to contact with only their respective roommates, as well as team personnel who handled check-in. When workouts begin Monday, players will be placed in groups of eight to limit contact while working out with the team’s strength and conditioning coach. All team meetings will continue to be held through Zoom video conferences.
"Yessir, let's get it man!"
Welcome back home, guys. pic.twitter.com/2DxqZs5z68
— Auburn Football (@AuburnFootball) June 5, 2020
Earlier this week, head coach Gus Malzahn said the university has a plan in place for contact tracing in order to further prevent the spread of the virus.
“[Team doctor] Doc Goodlett has done a super job of making sure that if someone tests positive, we will have a record of who’s been around, who’s in contact, and obviously they’ll be tested at the same time,” Malzahn told AL.com. “That should help. I think the challenge will be, as we move forward and trying to get back to some kind of normal, you know, everything that goes with that. But we feel very good about our plan, especially the first seven days.”
The Tigers aren’t the first team to see a COVID-19 outbreak. Five Alabama football players tested positive for the virus on Thursday, June 4. There have also been positive tests at Marshall University, Oklahoma State and Iowa State.
All college athletes who begin returning to campus this month will undergo mandatory testing, and the number of COVID-19 cases is likely to spike. However, how that could potentially impact the start date or overall execution of the 2020 college football season remains to be seen.