Report: “Multiple” Vol Athletes Test Positive for COVID-19

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Photo Credit: Mason Burgin/RTI

According to a report from Volquest, a number of student-athletes at the University of Tennessee have tested positive for COVID-19.

Brent Hubbs of Volquest reports that, according to sources, “multiple student-athletes have tested positive from tests that were conducted last week when athletes returned from the July 4th weekend, that includes student athletes who came to campus last week for the first time since before spring break in March.”

The exact number of athletes who have tested positive has not been revealed in the report. The sports affected by the positive cases have not been detailed either.

Per Austin Price of Volquest, football is one of the sports with student-athletes who have tested positive, but sources have told him that “most if not all symptoms” of the student-athletes who have tested positive are low grade symptoms. Price also reports that it’s “doubtful” UT will release the exact number of positive tests.

Back in June, athletes were allowed to return to UT’s campus for summer workouts. At that time, the first round of testing yielded no positive results from any Tennessee football players, though one graduate assistant tested positive and was quarantined. Two men’s basketball players tested positive, but both unnamed players have since recovered after being quarantined.

It’s worth noting that several SEC schools chose not to test following the July 4th weekend, but UT did. Some other SEC schools are only testing athletes if they present coronavirus symptoms.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has cast doubt on not only the beginning of the 2020 college football season, but also on the start of fall camp here in the next couple weeks. SEC Media Days would normally be held this week, but that annual event was canceled due to the pandemic.

The Big Ten announced late last week that they would be moving forward with conference-only games for the 2020 season, and other Power Five conferences — including the SEC — have discussed the possibility of doing the same.

On Tuesday, the SEC announced the suspension of three fall sports through the end of August. Volleyball, women’s soccer, and cross country are all postponed at least through the end of next month.

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey has said that a decision on football this fall won’t be made before the end of July.

We will update this story as more details emerge.