AMES, Iowa – The Iowa State Athletics Department announced Wednesday its first positive COVID-19 test result.
A part-time student worker notified the department over the weekend of a positive result and the athletics department staff member that worked closely with the student worker has been quarantined. Contract tracing procedures related to the incident are also underway. Additionally, four student-athletes (two different sports) have experienced symptoms after being in close contact with individuals outside of the athletics department who have been infected by the virus. Those student-athletes are also in quarantine and are awaiting test results.
“The potential for infections and positive test results has always been very real for an organization like ours and we’ve been thorough and diligent in planning for such incidents,” Director of Athletics Jamie Pollard said. “Our medical team, headed by Mark Coberley, has done a magnificent job in preparing protocols and procedures for countless scenarios related to the virus.”
Pollard said the positive results were not unexpected and he is confident that the medical professionals will skillfully address the situation.
“This certainly is not a great surprise. We believe our plan to isolate infected individuals, continually communicate and educate our student-athletes and staff on proper hygiene, ongoing efforts to thoroughly sanitize our facilities, and implement other strategies as necessary, will allow us to ultimately be successful in mitigating the impact of the virus,” Pollard said.
One key aspect of the recovery period is isolation for individuals with positive tests. Anyone staff or student-athlete with a positive result will be restricted from department facilities for an extended period of time (3-6 weeks). Individuals, who have been in close contact with an infected individual in the 48 hours leading up to their symptoms, will be isolated for one week followed by further testing. This is mandatory protocol to attempt to contain the potential widespread infection of COVID-19 amongst our athletes, staff, and community.
As more student-athletes begin returning to campus in the coming weeks, the sports medicine staff will be educating them on proper hygiene practices, responsible behaviors outside of our facilities and the importance of mitigating risks for contacting COVID-19.