The University of Maryland is suspending all activities within the university’s athletic department following a recent spike in positive coronavirus cases, the athletic department announced in a press release on Thursday.
Following the return of students to campus in recent weeks, the athletic department tested student-athletes on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1. Out of 501 tests, 46 were positive for the coronavirus.
“As we experience an unprecedented year in college athletics and across the entire country due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to keep the health, safety and welfare of our student-athletes and staff first and foremost,” Maryland athletic director Damon Evans said in a news release. “The most recent testing results have revealed an uptick in positive tests among Maryland student-athletes. Out of an abundance of caution, we are temporarily pausing all workouts for our programs. We continue to educate our student-athletes and staff about best practices and protocols to be safe this time. We look forward to when our student-athletes can safely return to workouts and then re-start their seasons.”
According to the Baltimore Sun, the results bring Maryland athletics to 63 positive cases out of 2,191 tests. That is a positivity rate of 2.9%.
While it’s unclear which student-athletes from which sports tested positive during the latest round of testing, The Washington Post’s Emily Giambalvo reported that it is believed the football team was not the main factor that caused the spike.
As of now, all fall sports in the Big Ten have been postponed for the rest of 2020, but teams and student-athletes were still allowed on campus and could participate in practices and training sessions up until Thursday's announcement.