UTA Athletics has confirmed it will be pausing all men’s basketball team activities after three players on the team tested positive for COVID-19.
The Athletics department learned about the positive tests Tuesday afternoon, Jason MacBain, associate athletic director for communications, said in a statement. All three athletes will be in isolation for the next 10 days.
“We will continue regular COVID-19 testing, and closely monitor the health of our student-athletes, coaches and staff,” MacBain said.
All team activities are paused, pending additional testing. Athletic teams were allowed to return to campus incrementally over the summer, with men’s basketball coming back July 20.
According to the UTA Athletics repopulation plan, the department will work with student-athletes who are required to self-quarantine and determine the most suitable location for their isolation.
Roy Rudewick, associate athletic director for sports medicine, said the athletic department has administered 665 COVID-19 tests since the start of the fall semester. Eleven of those tests have come back positive with Tuesday’s three cases being the only ones exhibiting symptoms.
UTA’s athletic department is using the North Texas Genome Center on campus to process its tests. The center’s proximity to the department has allowed test results to come back within 24 hours. Rudewick and the rest of the athletic training staff have also completed a contact tracing course from Johns Hopkins University to become certified contact tracers.
The department has tested about 90 people a week for the last three or four weeks, according to Rudewick. That number will increase starting next week with UTA’s volleyball season starting Friday against Arkansas State University.
Tuesday’s cases were discovered after the athletes complained of symptoms Monday, Rudewick said.
Athletic director Jim Baker said he doesn’t believe the men’s basketball players were exposed to the virus in any of UTA’s athletic facilities
“It was outside when they were around other people, but in our facility we don’t feel that’s where it happened,”
A decision regarding the resumption of team activities will be made at some point within the next week.