UConn Pauses Football Activities After 6 Positive COVID-19 Tests

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UConn has paused football activities after six football student-athletes tested positive for coronavirus, according to a statement from the university. 

The affected student-athletes are in isolation. 

"Following these most recent test results, we feel that temporarily pausing football activities is the best course of action for the team and the campus population,” David Benedict, director of athletics, said in a statement.  “The well-being of our student-athletes, coaches and staff is our top priority and we are focused on the health of those who have become infected.  We will remain vigilant in this area and will take all necessary action to ensure the health of our university community.”

The university said strength and conditioning training will be the only activity permitted for those who are not in medical quarantine or isolation. 

It will take place in small groups with physical distancing and masks. 

UConn said team meetings will continue to take place in a virtual setting.

UConn announced earlier this month that the football program would cancel all competition for the 2020-21 school year.

The team has been on campus since early July and no student-athletes had tested positive for COVID-19 as of the time the statement was released on Aug. 5, according to UConn athletics. 

UConn is part of the Big East, which postponed fall sports due to COVID-19.

As of Wednesday, UConn reported eight students who live on campus out of 5,042 tested as having COVID-19 and placed in isolation, three commuter students and two faculty or staff.

Two of those positive tests were from members of the football team, according to UConn.

On Thursday afternoon, the UConn website on the number of cases among students reported another four cases -- 10 residential students, three commuter students and two staff members.

UConn released a statement, saying any case of COVID-19 is a concern and the university planned carefully to bring students to campus, instituted a two-week quarantine before classes begin, isolates positive students, identifies close contacts through contact tracing and quarantining and retesting those students.

UConn also has students living in small “family units” or “pods.”

"In the case of the football players, this is a cluster of new cases among students in close contact with one another in shared living spaces, which we are able to identify, contain and isolate within the one cluster. Of greater concern would be multiple individual unrelated new cases appearing in different parts of campus," part of the statement says.

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