Alabama, Arkansas State athletes are the latest to test positive for COVID-19

With college athletes returning to campuses for workouts, the number of positive COVID-19 tests is rising.

Alabama with five and Arkansas State with seven are the latest revealed Thursday, joining Oklahoma State, Iowa State, Marshall and Mississippi as known schools with positive tests in recent days. 

“This is a day that we knew would come, not just at A-State, but for colleges and universities across America,” Arkansas State Chancellor Kelly Damphousse said.

The seven athletes there are from three sports, and all were asymptomatic. They learned of the positive results Wednesday night and will self-isolate for 14 days. Damphousse said contact tracing has begun, and anyone who has been exposed to any of the seven athletes will be required to quarantine for 14 days.

An Arkansas State spokesman said he didn’t know how many athletes have been tested since they began returning to campus for voluntary workouts. 

The five at Alabama are football players, according to BamaInsider of the Rivals Network. Players have been returning to campus to prepare for voluntary workouts starting Monday.

Alabama would not confirm the positive tests but issued a statement to The Tuscaloosa News through Ryan Bradley, interim vice president for Strategic Communications: “The health and safety of our student-athletes is a top priority. Resources and protocols are in place to ensure they receive the best medical care when returning to campus. Due to privacy laws we cannot share information specific to the health of our student-athletes.” 

Players have been working out with each other at the band’s practice field.

Oklahoma State and Marshall have announced they’ve each had three athletes test positive. Mississippi also has had an athlete and staff member test positive. Four athletes from two sports at Iowa State are in quarantine and awaiting COVID-19 test results after experiencing symptoms and being in close contact with individuals outside of the athletic department who have been infected by the virus, the school announced Wednesday.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up within weeks. But for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, the highly contagious virus can cause severe symptoms and be fatal. The vast majority of people recover.

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