Michigan State up to 16 athletes, 4 staffers positive for COVID-19

The latest Michigan State coronavirus testing numbers are in.

The university, which last week put its entire football team into a mandatory 14-day quarantine, announced Monday that 16 of its athletes have tested positive for COVID-19. The 16 positives came from a total of 122 athletes tested during the week of July 20-24. Michigan State did not specify which sport the positive tests came from.

Additionally, four athletic department staff members have also tested positive. Those staffers were tested between July 18 and July 24.

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Those figures come on the heels of MSU announcing on Friday that it had two positive tests among football staff and one positive test from a player. Those outcomes prompted the decision to put all members of the football program into quarantine. Two days earlier, last Wednesday, MSU halted its football workouts after learning that one staff member had tested positive.

The previously-announced positive tests were included in Monday’s testing figures.

LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 17: Helmets of the Michigan State Spartans during the game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium on November 17, 2018 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)
Michigan State announced Monday that 16 of its athletes have tested positive for COVID-19. (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)

Michigan State’s two-week quarantine is scheduled to go through Aug. 4. Individuals who tested positive are in isolation but receive daily check-ins from training staff. The school said additional testing will be conducted prior to clearance to return to workouts. Two negative COVID-19 tests are required for athletes to be cleared.


“All members of the football team are currently in isolation or quarantine, while awaiting completion of a requested 14-day quarantine that began on July 22,” the university said in a statement. “As part of the athletic department’s return to campus policy, student-athletes have been asked to quarantine when coming into close contact with an individual who tests positive for COVID-19. The university has designated areas available to house individuals in quarantine as needed based upon the living arrangements for student-athletes.”

Michigan State has performed more than 600 COVID-19 tests since athletes first returned to campus in early June. For athletes, 23 of the 524 tests have returned positive.

For football, workouts ramped up to 20 allowable hours per week from July 24 through Aug. 6. MSU did not make it through that phase before having to postpone workouts, and it wasn’t the only Big Ten member with that distinction. Over the weekend, Rutgers announced that it had six positive tests in its most recent round of testing. That news prompted the university to suspend team activities and quarantine the entire football program.

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