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Penn State Athletics Reports 20 COVID-19 Positives Following Latest Week of Testing

on September 23, 2020 5:18 PM

Penn State Athletics conducted 830 COVID-19 tests of student-athletes with 20 positive test results for the period of September 12-18. The department announced the results on Wednesday as part of its weekly release of COVID-19 numbers.

All results are part of Penn State University's overall figures. The university announced 294 positives over the weekend bringing the campus total to 1,666 positives since Aug. 7. Centre County added 47 cases in total on Wednesday.

Wednesday's news is something of a positive turn following last week's report that 50 student-athletes had tested positive, a week following 48 positives that forced several programs to suspended team activities for two weeks. While Penn State does not disclosure which teams have positive testing student-athletics, Penn State did confirm at the time that the football team was continuing to practice.

Results will continue to be reported on a weekly basis as the conference ramps up testing efforts to a daily program for all fall student-athletes. The Big Ten announced last week plans to return to play for football in late October, that announcement coming in conjunction with stringent testing efforts and guidelines.

The Big Ten requires that all COVID-19 positive athletes sit out 21 days following the result. League officials cited 14 days as per CDC guidelines and an additional week to get back into playing shape following quarantine.

Various testing requirements and standards for play are as follows.

  • Team positivity rate (number of positive tests divided by total number of tests administered):
    • Green 0-2% 
    • Orange 2-5% 
    • Red >5%
  • Population positivity rate (number of positive individuals divided by total population at risk): Population rate includes coaches and other in-program, non student-athlete personnel.
    • Green 0-3.5% 
    • Orange 3.5-7.5% 
    • Red >7.5%

Decisions to alter or halt practice and competition will be based on the following scenarios:

  • Green/Green and Green/Orange: Team continues with normal practice and competition.
  • Orange/Orange and Orange/Red: Team must proceed with caution and enhance COVID-19 prevention (alter practice and meeting schedule, consider viability of continuing with scheduled competition).
  • Red/Red: Team must stop regular practice and competition for a minimum of seven days and reassess metrics until improved.
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