Iowa athletics department reports COVID-19 testing update

From Sept. 14-20, the department conducted 743 COVID-19 tests and received seven positive and 736 negative tests.


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 University of Iowa athletics department announced Monday that it conducted 743 COVID-19 tests for the week of Sept. 14-20 and received seven positive tests and 736 negative tests.

As part of Iowa’s return to campus protocol, the department’s testing began May 29 and has included athletes, coaches, and other staff members. A total of 228 positive tests, 4,225 negative tests, and one inconclusive test 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 department does not provide a testing breakdown by sport or specify if an athlete or staff members has tested positive.

Infographic by Chloe Peterson/The Daily Iowan

The Big Ten announced on Sept. 16 that its Council of Presidents and Chancellors had unanimously voted to start its football season Oct. 23-24. The conference previously announced on Aug. 11 that all fall sports were postponed because of ongoing concerns with COVID-19.

Football is the only sport in the Big Ten that will be played this fall.

The Big Ten will require athletes, coaches, trainers, and other individuals that are on the field for all practices and games to undergo daily antigen testing. Teams must stop regular practice and competition for a minimum of seven days and reassess metrics until improved if the team’s positivity rate is greater than five percent or if the population’s positivity rate is greater than 7.5 percent. A positive test will keep an athlete out for at least 21 days.

The population metric does not refer to the student body positivity rate or the positivity rate of the county, Iowa Athletic Director Gary Barta clarified.

“The five percent rolling average every seven days is about what percentage tested positive during those seven days,” Barta said. “Now, when someone tests positive they go into a protocol that lasts longer than seven days, so you accumulate the number of people who are in that potential positive count. That, at any time, has to be below 7.5 percent.”

The Hawkeye football team is scheduled to start its season Oct. 24 at Purdue.

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