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COVID-19 outbreak in CSU athletics impacts at least 17 student-athletes

Kevin Lytle
Fort Collins Coloradoan
Published 6:16 PM EDT Jul 29, 2020
Players warm up on the field before the game at Canvas Stadium at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo. on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019.
Bethany Baker/Staff Photographer

Colorado State athletics now has an active coronavirus outbreak impacting at least 17 athletes, according to the latest data reported by the state of Colorado on Wednesday.

The state health department lists CSU athletics as having eight confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 with another nine probable cases, which are awaiting laboratory confirmation. 

An outbreak is defined by the state health department as at least two positive COVID-19 cases reported at a business or facility within two weeks.

A testing update from the CSU athletics department provided to The Coloradoan said 270 COVID-19 tests for student-athletes had led to 10 positive tests as of Tuesday. On July 20, athletic director Joe Parker said the department had only three positive cases out of 203 tests. According to the university data, the department has seen 10.5% of tests return positive in the past week and a half.

CSU at that time did not specify the number of positive cases by sport.

However, a spokesperson said six athletes had recovered. The other four are isolated and following quarantine protocols.

At the beginning of football workouts in June, CSU said public guidance requires a ten-day wait and three days of being fever free for anyone who had tested positive for COVID-19 before ending quarantine. Alternatively, quarantine could end if an individual had two negative COVID-19 tests separated by at least 24 hours.  

“The university has a public health office that immediately conducted robust contact tracing for these positive cases,” said CSU spokeswoman Dell Rae Ciaravola in a statement. “The university also works closely and quickly with county health departments when positive cases are identified that impact our community. We took immediate steps to quarantine and isolate individuals who were impacted by these positive cases.”

Football resumed workouts on June 8. Men’s basketball and volleyball began reporting June 29 with workouts beginning July 6. Women’s basketball and soccer were the latest sports to return with workouts beginning July 13. 

CSU has not publicly identified a threshold of coronavirus cases within a sport that would halt workouts and practices.

CSU athletic director Joe Parker and Larimer County Health Department spokeswoman Katie O’Donnell were not immediately available for comment after the state’s outbreak data was released.

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