Iowa athletics department reports COVID-19 testing update

The department conducted 335 COVID-19 tests for the week of August 10-16 and four positive tests and 331 negative tests have been received.


Shivansh Ahuja

Kinnick Stadium is seen fom the north end zone at Iowa Football Media Day on Friday, August 9, 2019.

Robert Read, Pregame Editor

The Iowa athletics department announced Monday that it conducted 335 COVID-19 tests for the week of Aug. 10-16 and received four positive tests and 331 negative tests.

As part of Iowa’s return to campus protocol, testing began May 29 and has included student-athletes, coaches, and staff members. A total of 51 positive tests and 1,225 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.

The Big Ten announced Aug. 11 that fall sports in the conference had been postponed to the spring due to concerns with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The mental and physical health and welfare of our student-athletes has been at the center of every decision we have made regarding the ability to proceed forward,” Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren said in a release following the announcement. “As time progressed and after hours of discussion with our Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee, it became abundantly clear that there was too much uncertainty regarding potential medical risks to allow our student-athletes to compete this fall.

“We know how significant the student-athlete experience can be in shaping the future of the talented young women and men who compete in the Big Ten Conference. Although that knowledge made this a painstaking decision, it did not make it difficult. While I know our decision today will be disappointing in many ways for our thousands of student-athletes and their families, I am heartened and inspired by their resilience, their insightful and discerning thoughts, and their participation through our conversations to this point. Everyone associated with the Big Ten Conference and its member institutions is committed to getting everyone back to competition as soon as it is safe to do so.”

The fall sports included in this announcement are men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, football, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball.

The conference said it would continue to monitor these sports and evaluate a number of options, including playing these sports in the spring.

Decisions regarding winter and spring sports, the Big Ten said, will also continue to be evaluated.

“With the announcement [Aug. 11] from the Big Ten Conference, our immediate focus is on our student-athletes and continuing to provide care and support,” Iowa athletic director Gary Barta said in a release following the announcement. “They have overcome a number of obstacles associated with this virus and handled the uncertainties with undeniable resolve. We will continue to work together and move forward.

“We have said from the very beginning, the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, and staff is our first priority. Our athletics department is incredibly fortunate to have the expertise and guidance of our medical team and the UI Hospital and Clinics. Unfortunately, there were still too many uncertainties to move forward with our fall sports. The University of Iowa supports the extremely difficult decision made by the Big Ten Conference.”