ATHENS, Ohio (WCMH) — Eight Ohio University student-athletes have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the University.
The positive tests are a result of the proactive screening of athletes before commencing voluntary summer workouts on campus.
The proactive testing is part of a comprehensive plan developed before student-athletes from Ohio University football, men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball were cleared to return to Athens for voluntary training and conditioning.
A total of 125 student-athletes have been tested to date.
OU protocols call for student-athletes to self-quarantine in their residences upon their return to Athens. After a seven-day waiting period, student-athletes are required to undergo testing for COVID-19 before using campus facilities for workouts. If a student-athlete is clear and has no active infection, the next step is to receive a pre-participation physical and medical clearance. Voluntary workouts and physical activity may begin after receiving clearance.
The student-athletes with positive COVID-19 test results have since been asked to return to their permanent residences to self-isolate and follow health protocols.
The Athens City-County Department of Health is conducting contact tracing based on any interactions the students had prior to the positive test, and any potentially exposed individuals will be asked to quarantine to help prevent spreading the virus.
Ohio University will not be releasing the names or identifying information of these individuals to ensure that they can focus on their health and recovery.
As a precautionary measure, Ohio University Athletics has temporarily halted all conditioning and training to help ensure the health and safety of everyone on the Athens campus and in the surrounding communities.
“We have halted training and are doing that for 48 hours for contact tracing and doing screening of athletes. After 48 hours, we will re-evaluate the situation,” said Carly Leatherwood, public information officer at Ohio University. “We had very extensive protocols in place before the students came back and we asked them to self isolate for seven days, then they were tested and wouldn’t be able to return until they were tested and have negative results.”
The Health Department is doing the contact tracing while Ohio University is doing the daily screenings.