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Penn State Reports 8 Positive COVID-19 Tests Among Student-Athletes

by on July 29, 2020 1:20 PM

Eight Penn State student-athletes have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the latest update from the university's athletic department on Wednesday.

Penn State Athletics has conducted 466 COVID-19 tests of student-athletes as of July 24 and 66 results are still pending. 

"The health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, staff and the broader community are of the utmost importance," a Penn State spokesperson said with the release of the latest results.

"Therefore, as part of the protocols established in the return to campus plan by the Penn State Athletics medical staff and in consultation with University, local and national officials and guidelines, individuals with a positive test have been put into isolation for 14 days and will be retested at that point. In addition to isolation, contact tracing procedures have been implemented, which includes quarantine and testing for those individuals who might have been exposed, even if asymptomatic."

The university has not confirmed which teams these positives tests are associated with, and as of Wednesday has not suspended or made any public changes to operations and ongoing practice schedules. Additionally, testing totals include individuals who were retested and are not a reflection of total unique tests.

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The athletic department releases its COVID-19 testing results every two weeks on Wednesdays. The department confirmed its first case of COVID-19 last weekoutside of that schedule, after a positive result appeared in Department of Health data for University Park.

Prior to that, Penn State's last update on July 15 indicated that the athletic department had administered 178 COVID-19 tests of student-athletes with zero positive results and 31 pending.

Penn State began its student-athlete return to campus in June, while Penn State football began on-field work this past Friday as part of the NCAA's previously scheduled six-week ramp-up period to the start of the season.

As of Wednesday, Centre County has had a total of 370 COVID-19 cases since the first was reported on March 20, including at least 150 in the immediate State College area.

In the past two weeks Centre County has added a total of 108 COVID-19 cases. That includes a single-day high of 43 reported on Sunday. Mount Nittany Health noticed the unusual spike in new positives at the end of last week and contacted the health department to review the tests and coordinate re-testing.

"The Pennsylvania Department of Health has determined a number of the positive test results were not valid," DOH spokesman Nate Wardle wrote in an email. "We are reviewing those tests, retesting, and will change our data (as needed) to reflect the results of these tests in the near future."

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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