Penn State Athletics has paused team activities for several programs and initiated standard isolation and precautionary quarantine following 48 positive COVID-19 tests over the span of August 31-September 4.
The department, which administered 920 COVID-19 tests over that same period of time, did not disclose which teams had been placed under quarantine but did state that it did not believe the transmission of COVID-19 did not occur during team activities.
"Contact tracing is being performed and there is no evidence to suggest COVID-19 was transmitted during practice or training activities." a department press release reads.
Wednesday's release was by far the largest single week of positive test results within the department. Previously Penn State Athletics had reported just 11 positive cases over an extended period of testing. Athletes in high contact sports are required to be tested twice a week according to Big Ten protocols. As of last week's update the department had gathered the results of roughly 1,200 COVID-19 tests among student-athletes.
According to the department, a 5.0 percent positivity rate for Penn State Athletics was the trigger for suspended activities.
"The health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, staff and the broader community are of the utmost importance," a statement reads. "Therefore, as part of the protocols established in the return to campus plan by the Penn State Athletics medical staff and in consultation with University, local and national officials and guidelines, individuals with a positive test have been assigned to isolation for 14 days and will be retested at that point. In addition to isolation, contact tracing procedures have been implemented, which includes quarantine and testing for those individuals who might have been determined to be close contacts of positive individuals, even if asymptomatic."
The news largely falls in line with an ongoing trend of positive cases in Centre County, which reported 184 new cases on Wednesday, a single-day record since the onset of the pandemic. 180 of those were in the University Park and State College zip code.