Michigan State HC Tom Izzo Tests Positive for COVID-19; Will Isolate for 10 Days

Jenna CiccotelliCorrespondent INovember 9, 2020

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo gives instructions against Ohio State during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Sunday, March 8, 2020, in East Lansing, Mich. Michigan State won 80-69. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)
Al Goldis/Associated Press

Michigan State announced Monday men's basketball head coach Tom Izzo has tested positive for COVID-19 and will self-isolate for 10 days.

Izzo returned a presumptive positive antigen test on Monday morning, and the diagnosis was later confirmed through a PCR test. No other members of the Michigan State program have tested positive since the team began daily antigen testing along with the rest of the Big Ten conference on Oct. 26.

In a statement, Izzo said his symptoms are minor, and he can return to the program on Nov. 17, since his symptoms began on Saturday. In his absence, associate head coach Dwayne Stephens will lead practices, with the 2020-21 college basketball season scheduled to begin Nov. 25.

The 65-year-old Hall of Famer, who has coached at Michigan State since 1995, said he isn't sure how he contracted the virus: 

"I've been extremely diligent for many months now, wearing my mask in public and around the office, while adhering to social distancing guidelines. I've been racking my brain, trying to figure out if there was a time where I let my guard down for just an instance. And while I haven't identified any area of exposure, what I have determined is that this shows the power of the virus. You'd be hard pressed to find a coach who's taken more precautions than I have, following all the protocols put in place by our medical team, and yet I still contracted the virus."

Izzo said in a statement that he will spend his time in isolation watching film and following the instruction of team medical staff, while asking that his family, team and the Michigan State fanbase "continue to listen to medical experts and follow their advice." 

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"I'm proof that no one is immune, but I still believe that there are steps everyone can take to reduce their chances of contracting the virus," he said.

According to the school, there were 78 cases of COVID-19 detected among the university population through testing done on the MSU campus during the week of Nov. 2, and there were 22 cases of the virus reported to the school by the Ingham County health department during the week of Oct. 26.