UT reports no active COVID-19 cases among student-athletes on campus

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FILE – In this Nov. 10, 2018, file photo, Texas players sing “The Eyes of Texas” after an NCAA college football game against Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas. The University of Texas announced a series of steps Monday, July 13, 2020 intended to make itself more welcoming to its Black students but stopped short of shelving “The Eyes of Texas” song that a number of athletes have said needs to go because it has racist undertones. (AP Photo/Brad Tollefson, File)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — On Wednesday, Texas Longhorns Athletic Director Chris Del Conte reported no positive cases of COVID-19 among student-athletes currently on campus for offseason workouts.

Additionally, no student-athletes are in self-isolation or quarantine, Del Conte wrote in his weekly Forty Acres Insider newsletter.

In the newsletter, Del Conte says “everything going on for our teams on campus is headed in a positive direction as preseason training continues and we approach our fall seasons. The number of student-athletes testing positive or being identified in contact tracing has dropped dramatically.”

The zero active case count comes from the UT football, basketball, volleyball and soccer programs — which have all gone through the athletic department’s COVID-19 on-boarding protocols.

Del Conte says the football program did another round of COVID-19 surveillance testing with players and select coaches/staff members — which came back with no positive tests. Del Conte added that the results are “a tremendous reflection of our student-athletes and all of their efforts to manage this challenging situation.”

In June, when Texas football players were the first to return to campus for the beginning of summer, voluntary workouts, the athletic department reported 13 student-athletes tested positive or were presumed positive for COVID-19.

Earlier this week, the Big 12 decided on a 10-game football schedule for the 2020 season with a full conference slate and one non-conference game. The question remains — how many fans will get to watch games from Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium?

Last week, Chair of the UT System Board of Regents, Kevin Eltife, asked the athletic department to explore a 25% capacity model for fan attendance.

Throughout the summer, a UT athletics task force has been dissecting multiple options for safely bringing sports back to campus for the fall. On Monday, the athletic department announced safety measures for attendance, ticketing, sanitation and mandatory face coverings for football games.

“This continues to be an evolving, fluid conversation, but I am confident that we will be adequately prepared for whatever capacity requirements are in place at the time of our first football game this fall,” Del Conte wrote in the newsletter.

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