COLLEGE PARK, Md. — A recent COVID-19 test screening showed that 46 University of Maryland College Park student-athletes have contracted the coronavirus, impacting 10 UMD teams in the process.
On August 31 and September 1, 2020, the University Health Center conducted on-campus screening for 501 student-athletes.
Student-athletes will be tested again on Tuesday, September 8. As a precautionary measure, all athletics training activities have been suspended until those test results are received, said the university in its statement.
“As we experience an unprecedented year in college athletics and across the entire country due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to keep the health, safety and welfare of our student-athletes and staff first and foremost,” said Athletic Director Damon Evans. “The most recent testing results have revealed an uptick in positive tests among Maryland student-athletes. Out of an abundance of caution, we are temporarily pausing all workouts for our programs. We continue to educate our student-athletes and staff about best practices and protocols to be safe this time. We look forward to when our student-athletes can safely return to workouts and then restart their seasons.”
Since testing student-athletes began earlier this summer, 63 athletes have tested positive, with the university conducting 2,191 tests, according to its provided data.
The early positive tests came after testing and June, but this second set of testing comes as college football looks to push into the fall, playing amid the pandemic.
While the Big Ten Conference — which the Terps play in — is still scheduled to postpone its football season and fall sports until the spring, new stories do show that the conference could allow back football by Thanksgiving. The change in direction comes after backlash by programs, its fan base, student-athletes, and the parents for these kids.
For testing, UMD said its working with state and county partners to help provide the most accurate testing and to help them follow protocols for COVID-19 education, contact identification and tracing, and self-isolation.