Ohio State, North Carolina Athletic Departments The Latest To Pause Workouts After Coronavirus Resurgence

Head coach Mack Brown talks to the North Carolina Football team
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The University of North Carolina and Ohio State’s athletic programs are the latest to announce that their summer workout programs are on pause due to a reported resurgence of the novel coronavirus. Bill Rabinowitz of the Columbus Dispatch reported on Wednesday that the Buckeyes’ football, men’s and women’s basketball, field hockey, men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball teams are all affected by the pause.

Ohio State has refused to share even cumulative coronavirus tests because the school said it could lead to people figuring out which athletes tested positive. Student-athletes who test positive for COVID-19 are required to self-isolate for at least two weeks. During this time they are to receive daily checkups from the athletic department medical staff. Those players that live with a roommate are required to self isolate in a specially designated room on campus.

While Ohio State isn’t sharing how many athletes tested positive for COVID-19, it did say the cumulative positive test results were enough to cause concern and led to the decision to stop practices and workouts for the near future at least.

Ohio State Football players look on
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John Taylor of College Football Talk reported that North Carolina paused its voluntary workouts after 37 out of a total of 429 student-athletes, coaches, and staffers connected to the sports who returned to campus tested positive for the coronavirus. Those results drove the Orange County, North Carolina Health Department to determine a “cluster” had formed. That determination led to the pause.

The Buckeyes and Tar Heels are the latest programs to announce they are pausing voluntary workouts because of the pandemic. However, they aren’t the only schools to take that action.

Last week, the University of Arizona announced that it too would be putting a hold on athletic department activities. That same week, the University of Kansas said it had over a dozen athletes test positive and would be stepping back practices and workouts in order to stop the spread. The Jayhawks joined their in-state rival in Kansas State who started their own pause in June.

Taylor pointed out that while there are several schools that are ending workouts for the moment in the wake of the coronavirus resurgence, not every school is taking the same actions. Clemson University reported that 37 players tested positive last month but they are continuing practices. LSU saw more than 30 players quarantined after the start of their workouts last month, though the school has reported infections have been tamped down while they continue practicing.

Texas Tech also had 27 players and staff members test positive since their return to workouts but they haven’t paused their structured return to campus.