While fall sports athletic seasons were suspended last week, participating teams’ practices have now also been cut at Illinois State University. Thirty-one student-athletes have reportedly tested positive in the latest round of COVID-19 tests. With the rise in cases, Illinois State Athletics has suspended activities due to six sports having positive tests.
"The 31 positive tests were clustered in football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, volleyball, soccer and the track teams," said ISU Athletic Director Larry Lyons.
The only sport being allowed to continue with workouts is track due to practices not being set to begin until Aug. 23.
"We didn’t suspend the track teams because they were not scheduled to start workouts until next week. We will review the status of each team as we learn more from contract tracing this week and next week," said Lyons.
As 31 student-athletes have now caught the virus, Lyons explains the guidelines they are now set to follow.
"Each of the individuals who tested positive are isolating per university guidelines at the permanent home, in their off-campus apartment or in designated on-campus housing depending upon their individual circumstances," said Lyons.
The rise in COVID-19 cases comes as the university has increased testing sites on campus with fall semester starting Monday. Over the summer season, cases remained low for Redbird athletics.
"We were having really clean test results all summer but spiked with our most recent tests. Up to this point we had only nine positive tests in two months," said Lyons.
"We believe the exposures came from community spread most likely off campus and also from student-athletes congregating together without knowing there was a contagious person in the group."