Oregon State football to begin testing, voluntary workouts this week

Dylan Mickanen
NBC Sports Northwest

With Pac-12 approved voluntary workouts getting ready to begin, many schools have already welcomed back their student-athletes in anticipation of fall sports, including Oregon State.

[RELATED]: Details surrounding the Pac-12 to allowing voluntary in-person workouts

Oregon State Athletic Director Scott Barnes and Senior Associate Athletic Director for Sports Medicine Dr. Doug Aukerman held a press conference via Zoom for media members to ask questions about the school's protocol surrounding the coronavirus. 

Barnes estimates that 100-110 athletes across multiple sports have reported to Corvallis with more expected to return in the coming weeks. 

[Be sure to check out the latest Talkin' Beavers Podcast with host Ron Callan and special guest Oregon State women's basketball senior Aleah Goodman]

With the workouts voluntary, if any student-athletes feel unsafe coming back they are not forced to, but Barnes said that so far no football players have decided to stay home. 

Barnes also mentioned that the university has had "at least one" test come back positive for coronavirus but that it was "very early on." 

Before returning to campus, each athlete was required to complete a 14-day quarantine at their homes and then complete a coronavirus test when arriving at Oregon State. From then on, each athlete will be tested once a week with more frequent testing possible given new information. 

"We will not allow any [players] to be in [the facilities], doing workouts or exercising until we've gotten their test results back and it shows they're not an asymptomatic carrier," said Dr. Doug Aukerman. 

He later estimated that 25% to 35% of college-aged coronavirus carriers are asymptomatic which makes the virus tougher to defend against. The university will have a better idea of which athletes have had it before and which haven't once they take the antibody tests. 

Athletes will workout in the brand-new, 20,000 square foot facilities in groups of ten. Two groups can workout at the same time but in different sections of the facilities and all of the athlete's workouts must be confined to their specific section. All strength and conditioning staff will wear masks and gloves while in the facilities. When a group completes its workout, then the area will be cleaned before the next group of student-athletes uses the facilities. 

Each athlete will need to pass a temperature test before entering the facilities. 

Oregon State's Athletic Director estimated that precautions due to the pandemic will cost around a "half a million dollars," but stressed that's an estimate that "seems like it changes daily."

Masks are required to be worn by all student-athletes and staff members while on Oregon State's campus. 

Oregon State football to begin testing, voluntary workouts this week originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest

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