Owls work to minimize spread of virus
Edward Rudman – Sports Writer
Phase Two for athletics has now been in place for a week, allowing for equipment to be used and up to 25-30 athletes and coaches to train together. With this increase in contact, there will be an increase in testing for COVID-19 starting the week of Oct. 5.
“The plan with testing right now is it’s going to start next week I believe, and it does change depending on where we are in the season,” said Lisa Dupuis, head athletic trainer. “Our plan going forward is to test 25 percent of the student athlete population on a weekly basis. We call it surveillance testing and it’s completely randomized who gets chosen.”
No matter what the testing results end up being throughout the semester, the percentage of athletes tested every week will remain at 25 percent unless the school is instructed otherwise, according to Dupuis.
The percentage has the potential to change once athletic programs start competing with other college teams and traveling begins next semester.
If an athlete is to test positive for COVID-19, that athlete will then go through contact tracing for possible cases that could have spread around campus. Furthermore, all the athletes that train in the same bubble with the positive case will have to quarantine as well.
“If someone on the team does test positive and they’ve been working out in a bubble of 30, then that entire bubble will go into quarantine so that we prevent the spread,” said Dupuis.
Athletes and non-athletes alike who live on campus will be quarantined at the North Campus townhouses.
There are 36 units available, coming to a total of 144 people. If additional space is required at any time, Residence Life will work with the COVID-19 Coordinator, Erin Duff, to determine how to meet the need, according to the university.
Each unit will have food available immediately upon moving into quarantine and a schedule of further food deliveries and contactless drop off will be determined in consultation with the student once moved to the quarantine housing.
“They can participate in virtual workouts and I think every team is going to be dealing with this a little differently. As long as the athletes can remain asymptomatic, which is a key factor, they can continue to work out while they’re in quarantine. They can’t go out for a run or anything like that, it must be inside,” said Dupuis.
Off-campus commuters will be required to self-report if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have tested positive and will have to quarantine themselves at home.
“I think the university did a great job at preparing for on campus quarantining by a providing substantial amount of space in case of an outbreak. For testing, I think they are doing the best that they can with the randomized testing, but I feel like commuters should be included in the testing if they are coming onto campus,” said IDS major Juliet Hryniszyn, a senior.
It will be important for all students, faculty, and athletes to continue taking the situation seriously and remain social distancing throughout the semester.
“It really comes down to being able to continue to reinforce and maintain those mitigated behaviors,” Dupuis said. “Wear your mask, wash your hands, don’t touch your eyes, nose and mouth; the more they do that, the less likely they will catch it and minimize the risk of spreading it.”