UB implementing changes to COVID policies after 25 student-athletes test positive

UB Bulls

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The University at Buffalo (UB) says it is responding after 25 student-athletes tested positive for COVID-19.

According to UB Athletics Director Mark Alnutt, the cases are contained to members of the football team and the women’s volleyball and soccer teams.

  • Football: 19 cases
  • Volleyball: Five cases
  • Soccer: One case

All team activities in the three sports have been paused, and could resume this Monday after everyone’s health is re-evaluated.

The new cases were discovered after 322 student-athletes were tested last week. The testing came after one student-athlete reported having COVID-19 symptoms.

“We have had very low incidence of COVID-19 since we began testing our student-athletes in June,” Alnutt said. “Per our health and safety protocols, we took immediate steps to curb the spread of the virus among our student-athletes and athletics staff.”

Alnutt says that before these new cases were discovered, only eight student-athletes had tested positive for COVID-19. Overall, the positive rate among student-athletes is less than one percent, he says.

Starting Monday, UB will begin implementing new health protocols for the football program. This requires players, coaches, trainers and others that are on the field for practices and games to take part in point-of-care antigen testing at least four times per week.

Teams with a positive rate of two to five percent must move forward with enhanced COVID-19 prevention efforts, including altered practice schedules, more frequent testing and the consideration of changes to scheduled competition.

If the positive rate exceeds five percent, teams must stop practice and competition for at least seven days.

Evan Anstey is a digital content producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here.

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