The Iowa Athletics Department announced Monday that it conducted 20 COVID-19 tests for the week of July 20-26 and received one positive test and 19 negative tests.
As part of Iowa’s return to campus protocol, testing began May 29 and includes student-athletes, coaches, and staff. A total of 27 positive tests and 506 negative tests have been received.
According to a release, following the positive test result, protocol established by UI Athletics and medical staff, including contact tracing procedures, is being followed to ensure the safety of all UI Athletics student-athletes and staff. This mandatory protocol also includes isolation for the individuals who test positive, and quarantine for those individuals who might have been exposed to someone with the virus.
Iowa athletics reported its first positive COVID-19 test June 8, when it released it had received one positive test and 236 negative tests. The department provided an update June 15 that an additional two positive tests and 107 negative tests had been received.
On June 22, the department announced nine more positive tests and 31 more negative tests, and on June 29 five positive tests and 17 negative tests. On July 6, Iowa reported four positive tests out of five tests conducted and last week reported four positive tests out of 30 tests conducted. Last week, Iowa reported one positive test and 69 negative tests.
The Iowa football team started voluntary workouts June 8, followed by the men’s and women’s basketball teams on June 15. Other fall sports teams returned for voluntary workouts after the football and the men’s and women’s basketball teams.
Two football programs in the conference announced in recent days that they are pausing voluntary workouts and quarantining after receiving COVID-19 testing results.
Michigan State paused workouts July 22 after a staff member tested positive for the coronavirus. The school announced July 24 that the entire football team will quarantine or self-isolate for 14 days after a second staff member and one athlete tested positive for COVID-19.
No members of Michigan State’s athletics department staff had tested positive for COVID-19 over the school’s first few rounds of testing. Five Michigan State athletes tested positive for COVID-19 in June.
Rutgers announced July 25 that it had stopped all in-person team activities and had quarantined all members of the football program after six additional positive COVID-19 tests were received. The program has had 10 positive cases since returning to campus June 15.
Iowa does not provide a testing breakdown by sport, or say if an athlete or staff member has tested positive, but Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz confirmed July 16 that the football program has had individuals test positive for the virus.
“We’ve experienced some [COVID-19] within our program,” Ferentz said. “If there are any positives at this point, the symptoms have been relatively minor. No one has been affected greatly. Certainly no hospitalizations, those types of things. That’s been good. We’re getting good medical support.”
“It’s brought a lot of unique challenges, especially with all the people who pop up with [the virus] and then people around them have to be quarantined,” Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum said July 16. “We’re just taking it a day at a time. Each workout could be your last one for two weeks. Guys are realizing that you have to be smarter outside with what you do and the places you go.”
On July 9, the Big Ten announced that, due to concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be moving to conference-only schedules for fall sports in 2020.
By limiting competition to only other Big Ten schools, the conference said in a statement that it will have the “greatest flexibility to adjust its own operations throughout the season and make quick decisions in real-time based on the most current evolving medical advice and the fluid nature of the pandemic.”
Updated fall schedules are expected to be released by the Big Ten over the next couple of weeks.