In Latest Report, Penn State Says No Athletes Test Positive For COVID-19

Jul 15, 2020

Beaver Stadium at Penn State's University Park campus in July 2020. The university plans to return to on-campus classes in the fall, and has been bringing athletes back to campus for summer training.
Credit Min Xian / WPSU

Penn State has tested a total of 178 student-athletes for COVID-19 and none of the results have come back positive so far, according to an announcement from University Athletics Wednesday. Results are pending on 31 tests.

Penn State Athletics has said that student-athletes will be tested on arrival at Penn State, on returning if they leave and if they become symptomatic. Athletes are being discouraged from leaving campus after arriving.

The Penn State results come as Centre County saw an increase of 9 known cases Wednesday, bringing its total to 262. That’s a 30% jump from the end of June.

Penn State plans to return to on-campus classes in the fall semester, and began bringing athletes back to campus earlier this summer. 

“When the time comes, if it’s healthy and safe to do it, we’ll obviously do it, and if it’s not, we won’t,” Penn State Athletics Director Sandy Barbour said of playing in the fall, during a news conference July 1.

Barbour said the university would release its student athlete testing results to the public every two weeks. On July 1, there were no positive cases out of 102 athletes. 

Other Pennsylvania universities are shelving plans for fall sports. The Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference voted Tuesday to suspend fall sports. The conference includes Lock Haven University, in Clinton County. Clinton County has 100 cases, up from 78 at the end of June.

"The entire conference has worked hard these last few months to prepare for the return of sports to our campuses beginning this fall," conference Commissioner Steve Murray said in a news release. "However, it has become apparent that the safe conduct of sports under the guidelines of social distancing is untenable for our members. We cannot place our student-athletes at greater risk than the general student body. Despite our planning and collective efforts, it has become clear that we are not able to do so.”

Pennsylvania’s known cases increased by 994 on Wednesday, according to the state Department of Health. That brings the total to 97,665.

In its announcement, the Department of Health says that it’s “seeing significant increases in the number of COVID-19 cases among younger age groups, particularly 19 to 24-year-olds.”