COLLEGE STATION, TX — It has been 11 days since voluntary workouts started at universities across the nation, and we are finding student-athletes are not immune to the coronavirus.
The Brazos County Health District is reporting its worst week of positive COVID-19 cases. That spike in numbers comes as Texas A&M works to protect student-athletes now on campus.
“We have a daily screening process that each individual has to go through before they enter one of our facilities," said Texas A&M's lead team physician Dr. JP Bramhall
Athletic director Ross Bjork has confirmed an unknown number of student-athletes have tested positive for the virus.
“We knew going into this we would have students-athletes, maybe some staff members, who would test positive. Right now it has only been a handful, less than a handful of student-athletes who have tested positive,” said Bjork in a video interview posted by the Texas A&M University System.
Even though A&M has refused to release the exact number of positive COVID-19 cases among its student-athletes, other universities have been forthcoming with their numbers.
Last week, the University of Houston suspended athletic activities entirely after six student-athletes tested positive. On Tuesday, Baylor confirmed three student-athletes tested positive.
“Approximately 95% of our football team has been onboarded. The 53 tests that we’ve completed this week, we will let everyone know those results. We don’t have all of those in yet, but we’ll let everyone know about those results on Monday,” said Baylor University Athletic Director Mack Rhoades in a Friday press conference.
In College Station, A&M’s athletic department is not only monitoring athletes for the virus, they are also monitoring their mental health.
“We are dealing with different things obviously, different sources of fear and anxiety, worry, also how to cope with student-athletes not being able to train and not being able to engage in their daily or weekly routines,” said Texas A&M's Director of Counseling and Sports Psychology Dr. Ryan Pittsinger.
With over two months until the start of football season, a lot can change before then in regards to the virus, but one thing is certain, athletic departments are seeing positive cases of COVID-19.