Athletics reports coronavirus cluster on campus

The cluster of COVID-19 cases in VCU Athletics was announced on Aug. 26. Photo by Jon Mirador

Noah Fleischman, Sports Editor

Despite more than 40 members of VCU Athletics testing positive for COVID-19 within the first week of classes — forcing the university to create additional isolation space in its residence halls — unaffected teams continue to practice for the winter and spring seasons.

University spokesperson Michael Porter said the VCU Athletic cases –– which were reported on Aug. 26 –– make up the school’s only current cluster of cases. An Athletics spokesperson deferred all questions to university relations but said teams are following COVID-19 protocols. 

Due to the cluster in VCU Athletics, the university designated three floors of its Honors College building into additional isolation space for students who test positive for COVID-19. The site provided the university with an additional 160 spaces. 

Field hockey coach Stacey Bean said it would be a community effort to prevent the spread of the virus in an August interview with The Commonwealth Times. 

“We need people, whether it’s a student-athlete on my team or whether it’s a chemistry major or biology major,” Bean said, “it doesn’t matter. We need the VCU community locked in and committed for the long haul.”

Field hockey is one of the sports still practicing on VCU’s campus, but the Division of University Relations did not directly respond when asked which teams were affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Teams not connected to the cluster are continuing with their normal team activities,” Porter said.

The Atlantic 10 postponed all fall sports on July 17 due to COVID-19, but fall sports teams were allowed to train and practice this fall. Winter and spring sports are currently on schedule for a normal season. 

As of Tuesday, there are 93 active COVID-19 cases on campus; 90 students and three employees. Thirty-three students are living in isolation while 93 students are in quarantine, which is for those who have not tested positive for the coronavirus but may have been exposed. 

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