The Los Angeles County Health Director has reported eight positive test results for COVID-19 on the UCLA Bruins football team, LA Times Eric Sondheimer is reporting.
LA County Health Director just said eight UCLA football players tested positive for COVID-19.— eric sondheimer (@latsondheimer) August 5, 2020
It is unclear as to who tested positive, when the tests were administered and how many total tests were given at this time. However, we’ve seen across the country, large number of positive cases as student-athletes are returning to campus and to the practice fields.
While the Pac-12 has set an August 17 date for returning to the fields, many student-athletes are returning to campus voluntarily, and this is the first mass positive test result that’s been made public on UCLA’s campus since all athletics and academic activities were shut down and sent remote back in March.
This also comes on the heels of the Pac-12 players uniting and asking for safety and health guidelines upon their return to campus. The Player Unity Movement addressed head-on the trials and tribulations that playing football amid a global pandemic would ultimately bring this past Sunday, demanding actions be taken by the universities, Pac-12 and even as far as the NCAA.
The letter was addressed Sunday and it’s not three days later that UCLA has an outbreak.
This is a developing story and we’ll continue to monitor its impact as well as anything else released to the public.
[UPDATE] — The LA Times is reporting that UCLA has said it’s seen 167 positive cases for COVID-19 since testing began way back in March. However, the school is reporting cases for the “UCLA Community” and that doesn’t specific the athletic department as a whole.
Still, eight players have tested positive, Barbara Ferrer, the director of the L.A. County’s public health department said.
[UPDATE] — The reported positive cases happened in early July upon their return and weren’t made public by UCLA, per university policy. Instead, during a press conference, L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer revealed them when talking about the spread of the coronavirus upon college campuses amid the return of students.
“We know that there is at least eight players that are confirmed positive,” Ferrer said. “They are testing all of their close contacts and continuing to do that investigation. We’re helping with that. We’re continuing to make sure that everyone who is a close contact is quarantined.”
UCLA has stated that their process is complete and has confirmed that no student-athletes are in quarantine as of right now. UCLA and crosstown rival USC have not been able to gather in large groups during their current phases of reopening and a statement from the health department reiterated that.
“At this time, colleges and universities should not be bringing student athletes together on campus to participate in team sports,” according to a statement from the L.A. County Department of Public Health. “The State of California continues to state in-person higher education should remain closed statewide, except where supporting essential workforce activities, including but not limited to providing housing solutions, COVID-19 response, and training and instruction for the essential workforce.
“The state has released no additional information specific to collegiate sports. Until we receive further information, college sports teams should not gather and practice together.”