At least 30 Louisiana State University (LSU) football players were reportedly quarantined this week over concerns related to the coronavirus outbreak. Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated reported on Saturday afternoon that not all of the players tested positive for the virus but at least some had or had come into contact with infected teammates.
LSU is not confirming which players have been infected or who has been guaranteed. The University cited medical privacy laws as the reason it couldn't confirm the report on the numbers.
One official, Shelly Mullenix, did admit it was taking action and added the school was mirroring what other institutions have had to do as infection rates have seen an uptick since Memorial Day weekend.
"It's not surprising we're seeing the rise right now," she told Dellenger.
"It's a pandemic. We should not be shocked. The story is that it's exactly what we said it would be. We were prepared from the get-go for a lot of virus. The good news is we're seeing subtle virus illness."Mullenix said no LSU players or staff members have been hospitalized. All of those who were infected have reported only mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. LSU officials said they were glad the players were on campus when the first positive tests happened. They said all the athletes being in the same place made it easier to quarantine them and get them somewhere they could be treated.
Dellenger reported that at least some of the players were quarantined after frequenting bars and night clubs near the school. On Friday, the Louisiana Department of Health announced that more than 100 area bar patrons have tested positive for the virus. The department warned anyone who frequented the establishments that they should quarantine for at least two weeks.
LSU said players have been quarantined with their roommates, though some of the athletes have been taking part in modified practices or workouts. Mullenix said they did get good news on Friday when the players that admitted to having gone to the night clubs in question all tested negative.
The school didn't test players when they first set foot on campus but LSU officials don't believe that's the reason why they are seeing an outbreak. Mullenix said she believes the issue is due to demonstrations and large gatherings that have occurred in the area over the last few days.
LSU is just the latest school in what is a growing list of programs with players testing positive. On Saturday, Kansas State announced that it was shutting down workouts after several of its players tested positive for COVID-19.