On Wednesday afternoon, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill announced that after administering 429 COVID-19 tests for student-athletes and staff, 37 tested positive. The Orange County Health Department — home to Chapel Hill — has identified this as a cluster.
Due to this cluster, UNC football workouts have been suspended for at least a week.
UNC-Chapel Hill announces that of its 429 tests of its student-athletes, coaches and staff, 37 have tested positive for COVID-19. The Orange County Health Department has identified a cluster, which is defined as five or more related cases.
— Jonathan M Alexander (@jonmalexander) July 8, 2020
UNC football players and staff member started to return to campus in early June; the university published its intentionally staggered return policy in late May. Following two weeks of preparation, the first group of football players were to arrive on June 12; the second group arrived one week later (June 19).
After that, two more groups arrived on June 26 and June 29. Players were instructed to wear masks and isolate away from the rest of the student population.
More from the university’s release:
In accordance with University protocol, student-athletes who test positive for COVID-19 are required to isolate for up to 14 days in a campus residence hall specified by the University or at their permanent residence. Coaches and staff members will isolate at home up to 14 days as well. Those identified as close contacts, using the CDC definition for contact tracing, also will self-quarantine for 14 days.
Earlier this week, North Carolina coach Mack Brown joined WSJS and described some of the challenges currently facing college football programs in these unprecedented times. Brown mentioned that he was still approaching the season as if it were to run as scheduled.
UNC didn’t specify how the positive test results aligned with certain teams.