UConn football put a halt to team activities after six student-athletes tested positive for COVID-19, the school announced on Thursday. Per the school’s medical guidelines, the players have been placed into isolation.
“Following these most recent test results, we feel that temporarily pausing football activities is the best course of action for the team and the campus population,” director of athletics David Benedict said in a release. “The well-being of our student-athletes, coaches and staff is our top priority and we are focused on the health of those who have become infected. We will remain vigilant in this area and will take all necessary action to ensure the health of our university community.”
Strength and conditioning training will be allowed to continue for the remainder of the team, although they may only do so in small groups while maintaining social distancing measures and wearing masks. The team will also continue to hold virtual meetings.
These are the first UConn athletes to test positive for coronavirus while on-campus. Previously, the school announced that all 150 athletes it tested back in early July were negative while all 11 members of the Huskies’ women’s basketball team tested negative during their return to campus.
As of August 19, 11 UConn students have tested positive for the virus — eight of whom live at the Storrs campus. However, that only accounts for tests administered during move-ins, which means this number will rise with the positive cases on the football team.
The pandemic has already forced UConn football to cancel its season — the first FBS program to do so. The players were a driving force behind the decision, though the Huskies also would’ve struggled to put together an attractive schedule during their first season as an independent after numerous conferences eliminated non-conference play.
Soon after, all fall sports at UConn were stopped after the Big East canceled the fall season. The fate of the basketball season is still up in the air with the NCAA expected to provide some clarity by mid-September.