Twenty-one University of Washington athletes were tested for the coronavirus this week and one tested positive, according to a university release on Wednesday evening.
Thus far, in three weeks of COVID-19 testing as Husky athletes return to campus, there have been three positive cases out of 140 tests (2.14%). The athletes who tested positive “are going through our COVID-19 care and quarantine protocols,” according to the release.
The university declines to name the athletes who tested positive or provide details on which sports they participate. But, according to the athletic department’s return-to-campus plan, athletes from UW baseball, softball and “others by request” were scheduled to reintegrate this week.
As for UW’s care and quarantine protocols, the athletic department has stated that it will first provide the student who tested positive with appropriate health care. They’ll be required to self-quarantine “for a length of time that our team physicians determine is appropriate to ensure that they’re not spreading viral illness amongst the rest of our athletes and staff,” according Rob Scheidegger, UW’s associate athletic director for health and wellness and head of the department’s COVID-19 operations committee. UW will perform contact tracing and isolate “high contact” individuals as well.
UW’s update comes just two days after the University of Arizona paused its football return-to-campus plan, citing the recent COVID-19 surge in both its state and Pima County. Arizona reported nearly 4,878 new coronavirus cases and 88 deaths on Wednesday, by far the highest number of cases and deaths in a daily update provided by health officials, according to the Arizona Republic. COVID-19 inpatient hospitalizations rose by more than 200 on Tuesday, to a state record 1,289.
It’s unclear when, or if, the University of Arizona might restart voluntary workouts — but it’s fair to classify the Wildcats’ timeline as uncomfortably tight. The team is scheduled to begin mandatory activities on July 6, a week ahead of Washington and most others. That’s because Arizona also opens its season a week early, when it hosts Hawaii — hopefully — on Aug. 29.
Still, just one Wildcat student-athlete of the 83 tested has been found positive for COVID-19, according to Jon Wilner of the Bay Area News Group. And those relatively optimistic results mirror the early returns from the Pac-12 at large. Seven of the conference’s 12 member programs — Arizona (1 positive test), Cal (3), Colorado (4), Oregon State (1), USC (1), Washington (3) and Washington State (0) — have agreed to release coronavirus testing data, and that data has revealed just 11 total positive tests.
Arizona State, Oregon, Stanford, UCLA and Utah have declined to release COVID-19 test results as it relates specifically to athletics. Oregon, for example, has released the number of positive tests — 10 — for its student body, but not specifically its athletes (though it’s likely the latter accounts for some portion of those tests).
Thus far, the testing results on Pac-12 campuses have been encouraging. But the same might not be said of the states where they sit.