Another Big Ten football program is pausing its football workouts.
Northwestern announced Monday that its workouts have been halted due to a positive COVID-19 test result. In a statement, the school said it was using “an abundance of caution” in making the decision.
“During this time, medical staff will implement the university’s rigorous contact tracing and quarantine protocols to protect the health and safety of student-athletes, coaches and staff,” the school said in a statement.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the team’s workouts were paused because one player tested positive but others who have been in close contact with the player have been quarantined and will need to test negative before being permitted to return to team activities. Team workouts will be paused until at least Wednesday, a Northwestern spokesperson told the Tribune.
Northwestern is the sixth Big Ten program to have paused football workouts at some point this offseason due to COVID-19. Michigan State and Rutgers recently placed their entire programs in quarantine due to positive tests. Ohio State, Indiana and Maryland have also paused workouts at various points of the offseason.
Michigan State released updated testing numbers on Monday, saying it had seven positive results (of 177 total tests given to athletes, coaches and staff) during its most recent round of testing. Rutgers’ mandated quarantine was reportedly the result of players attending an on-campus party.
The Big Ten, which announced in early July that it would move forward with a conference-only schedule for fall sports, has yet to say when it will allow its football teams to proceed with preseason camp.
In a letter sent Thursday to its 14 schools, the Big Ten said it expected to make “a decision as to whether preseason camp will begin as currently scheduled” in the next five days.
“We will not, and cannot, proceed with preseason camp until we are certain that we can do so safely and that will depend, in part, on testing,” the Big Ten’s letter said. “Once we have everything in place to execute our testing protocols effectively, including the appropriate number of tests secured for all fall sports, we can make a decision as to whether preseason camp will begin as currently scheduled. We anticipate making that decision within the next five days.”
The letter was signed by Dr. Chris Kratochvil, the chair of the Big Ten’s Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases, and commissioner Kevin Warren.
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