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SOU shuts down athletics practices after two people test positive for COVID-19

Two cases came up during a trial run of the anticipated testing regimen for a return to SOU athletics, prompting coaches to press pause.

Posted: Oct 26, 2020 5:06 PM
Updated: Oct 26, 2020 5:14 PM

ASHLAND, Ore. — Practices for fall athletics at Southern Oregon University were put on a temporary hold Friday after two athletics personnel tested positive for coronavirus.

SOU decided to do a trial run of the anticipated Cascade Collegiate Conference testing protocol, testing all basketball players and coaches, along with a quarter of the football players and coaches — about 60 people in total.

From that group, one person produced a positive test for COVID-19. A second person, not part of the trial, got a test independently after showing symptoms — ultimately producing a second positive.

SOU shut down the Athletics Department for the time being to allow for contact tracing by Jackson County Public Health, allowing them to determine who can be cleared, and who needs to quarantine. The SOU Health & Wellness Center is also aiding with contact tracing.


RELATED: Five Oregon football members test positive for COVID-19 antigens


"We have a very conservative game plan when it comes to the indication of a positive test," said SOU Athletics Director Matt Sayre.

Because there were only two positives to come from the testing, Sayre is confident that there has been no "cross-contamination" between the teams.

The Athletics Department plans to have activities resume on Wednesday. In the meantime, SOU Athletics plans to hold a "debrief" on Tuesday for coaches, trainers, and staff to learn from the situation.

Jackson County Public Health is in charge of determining who were at contact risk from the positive cases. As of Monday, Sayre said that no other positive cases have emerged from the additional testing.

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