U. of Tennessee to Screen Student-Athletes for Illness

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The University of Tennessee is on spring break and will finish the semester using online instruction, but its athletic department announced that student-athletes who remain or return to campus will be screened for potential illness amid the nationwide COVID-19 response.

“Our medical professionals athletically are setting up a protocol as we speak to test our young people when they come here,” UT athletic director Phillip Fulmer said, as reported by the Knoxville News Sentinel. “That is not the coronavirus test, but it is a protocol that would indicate a fever or indicate any sickness. At that point, they would be quarantined and followed closely.”

Athletes largely have headed home after days of NCAA and SEC suspensions and cancellations, five Vols coaches indicated in a joint news conference.

“The utmost important thing is to get them home because their parents want them to be home with them,” Barnes said. 

The coaches also said that many remaining athletes have plans to return home, while a few will remain in Knoxville, the News Sentinel reported. Those athletes who do stay at UT will not have access to workout facilities. The academic, nutrition, sports medicine and mental health facilities remain available. 

Fulmer praised the response and the unity of Tennessee’s coaches in a meeting last week, feeling that “everybody felt the greater good” was the top priority. He said he is heartbroken for athletes that had “their athletic goals interrupted in such an unexpected way.”

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