JONESBORO, Ark. — Seven Arkansas State athletes tested positive for COVID-19 and are self-isolating for 14 days, university chancellor Kelly Damphousse said Thursday.
The seven athletes, all of them asymptomatic, are from three teams. They learned the results Wednesday night.
Damphousse said contact tracing has begun, and anyone who has been exposed to any of the seven athletes will be required to quarantine for 14 days.
"This is a day that we knew would come, not just at A-State, but for colleges and universities across America," Damphousse said.
An Arkansas State spokesman said he didn't know how many athletes have been tested since they began returning to campus for voluntary workouts.
Oklahoma State and Marshall have announced they've each had three athletes test positive. Ole Miss also has had an athlete and staff member test positive. A student worker in the Iowa State athletic department also has COVID-19.
Alabama also reportedly had multiple positive tests.
At least five Crimson Tide football players have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to 247Sports.com, which cited multiple unnamed sources. Citing privacy laws, the university declined to comment on the reported results, saying it "cannot share information specific to the health of our student-athletes."
"The health and safety of our student-athletes is a top priority," the university said in a release. "Resources and protocols are in place to ensure they receive the best medical care when returning to campus."
Alabama players returned to Tuscaloosa this week and are set to start voluntary workouts next Monday.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up within weeks. But for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, the highly contagious virus can cause severe symptoms and be fatal. The vast majority of people recover.