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N.C. State increases coronavirus testing of football team amid cluster within athletics

N.C. State increases coronavirus testing of football team amid cluster within athletics

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Shortly after announcing Monday that athletics at N.C. State has been paused due to a COVID-19 cluster within its program, the school updated its coronavirus testing numbers and results among its athletes.

The athletics department reported it has conducted 2,053 coronavirus tests on athletes, coaches and staff with 30 positive results (1.46%) since it started testing in June. Those numbers include 693 new tests and 22 new positive cases since the school’s last report on Aug. 14.

In a statement posted on its website Monday afternoon, N.C. State reported three new clusters on campus, including 27 cases within its athletic department. Of those cases, not all are athletes, the school reported.

A cluster is defined by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services as five or more individuals.

“Based on the information available to us, we are making the necessary and swift decision to pause athletic-related activities until we have additional information,” athletic director Boo Corrigan said in a press release statement Monday. “We will continue to work with all appropriate parties to evaluate the most responsible path moving forward and will provide further details when available.”

Fred Demarest, N.C. State senior athletic director for communications, told The News & Observer on Tuesday that the football program will now test twice a week, something they began doing within the last week. When athletes returned to campus in June for workouts, the football program tested once a week.

According to its campus dashboard, N.C. State has reported 457 positive cases of COVID-19 since March, with 416 of those cases being students.

Last week, the school announced that all undergrad classes will move online for the rest of the fall semester.

Chancellor Randy Woodson announced the decision in a school-wide email, citing off-campus gatherings, clusters of the coronavirus in Greek Village houses and more than 500 students who are forced to quarantine themselves because of their exposure to COVID-19. The school announced three new clusters on Monday.


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