The Alabama Crimson Tide are supposed to begin in-person voluntary workouts today. This comes after several players contracted Covid-19 while participating in a player-driven workout last month. Roughly 50 or so players gathered for this non-sanctioned practice, and “at least” five players, who were tested the day before this practice, received positive test results the day after the practice.
In other words, at least five players, all of whom were asymptomatically positive for Covid-19, were a part of a workout with 50 some odd players. Which means those five players could have just transmitted the virus to these other players.
“The health and safety of our student-athletes is a top priority. Resources and protocols are in place to ensure they receive the best medical care when returning to campus”, the university said in a statement. “Due to privacy laws we cannot share information specific to the health of our student-athletes”.
It was reported yesterday that three Auburn players have also tested positive for Covid-19, as they too—and all schools in the SEC—are set to begin voluntary practices today, if they choose to partake. Players are returning to campus and are being tested, hence why this information is coming in now.
“(Team doctor Michael) Goodlett has done a super job of making sure that if someone tests positive, we will have a record of who’s been around, who’s in contact, and obviously they’ll be tested at the same time”, Auburn’s head coach said. “That should help. I think the challenge will be, as we move forward and trying to get back to some kind of normal, you know, everything that goes with that. But we feel very good about our plan, especially the first seven days”.
Oklahoma State and Iowa are some other universities who have reported positive tests from returning athletes. Needless to say, anybody who tests positive will be quarantined, and will not participate in practices until they are cleared. But the concern here is the fact that these players, including players who have tested positive, have already been exposing themselves to other players within these non-sanctioned workouts.
In other words, we may be seeing more cases next week because those other players will be potentially incubating that virus. These 50 or so Alabama players just worked out on Wednesday with five people who tested positive. It’s Monday now.
In this situation, it’s not enough just to quarantine the five players who tested positive. These five positive cases had interactions with about 45 other people after they took a test that later returned positive. All of the players they were exposed to should be in a quarantine period. That’s the standard protocol. CBS does report that the university will be contact tracing these positive cases, which should result in exactly what I said happening, because they clearly had contact with these other players.