As student-athletes return to their respective campuses this month, testing for coronavirus is among the protocols at most schools, and at least two schools have already faced positive test results.
Marshall University announced Monday that three individuals representing the football program had tested positive. "This message is notification that as part of the university’s established COVID-19 testing protocols for student-athletes returning to campus for voluntary workouts, two student-athletes and one employee tested positive for the virus over the weekend," reads a statement on the university's website. "All three are asymptomatic, and the cases are not believed to be related. University and public health officials do not believe any of the three contracted the virus on campus."
“It shows that what you are doing is working,” Marshall athletic director Mike Hamrick said, as reported by The Herald-Dispatch of Huntington, W.V. “If a positive comes up, we’ve caught it and we can quarantine them. Everyone else was negative and what we set out to do with our testing is working. I think that’s the positive thing about it. You want to know. That’s why you test.”
The identities of the two Marshall players was protected by privacy regulations.
ESPN reported that Oklahoma State linebacker Amen Ogbongbemiga said Tuesday that he tested positive for COVID-19 after attending a protest in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Ogbongbemiga, a senior and last year's defensive MVP for the Cowboys, was one of 30 players to return to campus on Monday, the first phase of Oklahoma State athletes returning to campus in advance of a scheduled June 15 resumption of athletic activities. All of those players, as well as coaches and other staff members, were tested for the coronavirus, a source told ESPN.
Ogbongbemiga announced his positive test via Twitter.
Per university protocol, which was developed by a school task force headed by OSU Center for Health Sciences president Dr. Kayse Shrum, Ogbongbemiga will be quarantined in separate on-campus housing. Ogbongbemiga will be retested Friday, a source told ESPN, and retested again at a later date.
According to the school protocol, Ogbongbemiga's quarantine will follow local and state health department and university guidelines, and he will be monitored by the team physician, athletic training staff and any other medical consultants. The protocol also says the school will begin contact tracing, starting with Ogbongbemiga's "cohort/workout group."
In April, OSU head coach Mike Gundy drew criticism for expressing his desire to return student-athletes to campus by May 1 as the pandemic continued to spread. He later apologized.