FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Colorado State Athletics officially has a major outbreak of COVID-19.
As reported first by Kevin Lytle of the Coloradoan, the latest COVID-19 data from the state shows that CSU Athletics has eight confirmed positive tests for COVID-19 and nine more unconfirmed positive tests. (As of July 29, the unconfirmed tests are still awaiting confirmation from the lab.)
Back on July 20, Joe Parker told the media that out of the 203 student-athletes tested, only three were positive for COVID-19. On that date, Parker also confirmed that two staff members had tested positive for the virus — although he did not specify what their roles with CSU are.
Despite having a small number of positive tests, the general tone of that July 20 conference call was that things were going well in Fort Collins. In fact, Parker credited staff members and student-athletes across the board for their commitment to making the right decisions and helping limit the spread of the virus. Unfortunately, it’s pretty clear that things have since taken a turn for the worse.
At this point, other than football, it’s unclear if other sports are impacted by the outbreak. CSU Football returned to campus for voluntary workouts back on June 8 and managed to go over a month without recording a positive test. Recently the men’s basketball and volleyball programs began their own phased returns to campus as well.
With about a month until football season is intended to start, it seems that CSU will follow the lead of Boise State, which reported more than 20 positive tests on campus in June, resulting in a temporary shutdown of all on-campus activities. The difference is that as of right now, the Rams seem to be just suspending football activities, after announcing eight positive tests inside the program.
.@CSUFootball will voluntarily take a brief pause of team activities
— Colorado State Rams (@CSURams) July 30, 2020
“We are taking this step to voluntarily pause football activities to minimize the opportunity for this virus to spread any further,” Parker said in a statement on csurams.com.
“We will always put the health and safety of our student-athletes and community first, and while we are disappointed to see this spread occur within our program, we remain encouraged for the continued collaboration we have experienced with our University’s Pandemic Preparedness Team, local, county, and state health officials.”
If there’s a silver lining for sports fans, it’s that Boise State was able to return to action after a two-week shutdown. Of course, the situation will definitely need to be monitored closely.
We all want college sports this fall. But the safety of the student-athletes must always be the number one priority.