UConn women’s basketball head coach Geno Auriemma has tested positive for COVID-19, the school announced on Monday. He is currently asymptomatic while isolating at home.
Contact tracing determined that Auriemma was not in close contact with “any other team member since Friday, March 12.” All Tier I personnel — players, coaches and support staff — have tested negative since UConn began following the NCAA Tournament’s required protocol of daily testing on Tuesday, March 9. UConn is still scheduled to leave for San Antonio on Tuesday morning.
“After we received notification of the positive test result yesterday, we initiated contact tracing protocols, which included interviewing individual members of the basketball program and in-depth video analysis of practice,” director of sports medicine and head team physician Deena Casiero said in a release. ”Only household close contacts were identified. Given the fact that we have been doing daily testing for the past seven days, we feel confident that we were able to catch this very early on in the disease process.”
Auriemma received his second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on March 10 but will not be fully vaccinated for another nine days, per CDC guidelines. He can rejoin the team on March 24, according to CDC and Connecticut Department of Public Health guidelines.
“I’m feeling well but disappointed that I will be away from the team for the next several days,” Auriemma said in the release. “Fortunately, I have a great coaching staff who will lead us during my absence. This revelation is a reminder that, while there is a light at the end of the tunnel, we are not on the other side of this pandemic yet. The full effect of vaccines does not occur until 14 days after our last vaccine dose, and for those of us getting two-dose vaccine, that means we’re not in the clear after just one-dose. My team and I need to remain vigilant in the areas of mask-wearing and social distancing as we continue this fight against COVID.”
Associate head coach Chris Dailey will likely take over head coaching duties while Auriemma is away. Dailey is 10-0 as acting head coach, including a 97-53 win over Oklahoma last season while Auriemma recovered from surgery to “alleviate symptoms caused by diverticulitis.”
Dailey also temporarily took over during the 1989 Big East Tournament when Auriemma was suspended due to a scheduling error, and again during the Big East Tournament in 1997 after Auriemma’s father died. Dailey also stepped in during the 2018-19 regular season when Auriemma missed a pair of games with an illness.
Auriemma will speak to the media Monday night following the NCAA Tournament bracket reveal.