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Penn State Pauses Team Activities After 48 Athletes Test Positive for COVID-19

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistSeptember 9, 2020

Fireworks go off over Beaver Stadium as the Penn State football teams takes the field before an NCAA college football game against Michigan in State College, Pa., Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

Penn State University announced the halt of sports team activities after 48 student-athletes tested positive for COVID-19 from Aug. 31 to Sept. 4.

"Based on these results and out of an abundance of caution, Penn State Athletics has paused team activities for several programs and initiated standard isolation and precautionary quarantine," the university said in a statement. "Contact tracing is being performed and there is no evidence to suggest COVID-19 was transmitted during practice or training activities."

The 48 positive tests represent a massive spike for Penn State, which saw only one positive test in the previous week's round of testing. The Nittany Lions have been testing athletes and staff at least once a week while the school conducts workouts amid the cancellation of the Big Ten's fall sports schedule.

"We expect our student-athletes to follow University requirements and guidelines for limiting the spread of COVID-19, including wearing masks, practicing social distancing, washing their hands regularly and not gathering in large groups," the statement said.

Penn State did not disclose which sports had positive tests, citing the privacy of the students. Those who tested positive will be quarantined at the university for at least 14 days. The school will use its contact-tracing system to trace the source of the outbreak and test anyone who has come in contact with students who tested positive.

Penn State has seen 59 positive tests among student-athletes since returning to campus this summer. 

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