Michigan State has massive rise in COVID-19 positive tests within the student-athlete community


The Breslin Center / Photo: Michigan State Athletic Communications

Nathan Stearns, Football Beat Reporter

EAST LANSING- The recent COVID-19 outbreak around Ingham County that has seen a 315% increase in cases since the beginning of September has seeped its way into the Michigan State student-athlete community.

From Sept. 7-14, 400 COVID-19 tests were administered by the university, 45 tests came back positive. Both student-athletes and staff members were tested during this time period; 44 of the positive tests were attributed to student-athletes, while only one staff member tested positive.

The 45 positive tests are by far the most in any week since Michigan State began testing in early June. The positive tests come on the heels of a COVID-19 outbreak at MSU that has resulted in 39 large living communities being ordered to quarantine for the next two weeks. 

The athletes who test positive will be isolated until symptoms subside and they subsequently test negative for the virus. Daily check-ins will be conducted by the athletic training staff and further testing and physician approval will also be handled by the university.

Since the beginning of June, the MSU athletic department has administered more than 1,950 total COVID-19 tests on student-athletes and staff members. During this time, 93 student-athletes have tested positive, six staff members in total have tested positive for COVID-19.

According to the Michigan State COVID-19 dashboard, the university has reported 160 new total cases this week. Under the new Big Ten return-to-play guidelines, if a team has more then 5% of its total players test positive and more then 7.5% of the players and coaching staff combined test positive, all athletic activities must cease for at least a week. In addition, any athlete who tests positive will be kept out of competition for a minimum of three weeks and will be subjected to various cardiac tests to ensure optimal heart health.