Players on the Alabama football team tested positive for the coronavirus after many met for workouts this week, multiple news outlets reported.
Alabama’s players have begun to return to campus ahead of voluntary workouts starting next week. At least five of those players have already tested positive for the coronavirus, according to 247Sports. The names of the players who have tested positive for COVID-19 have not been disclosed.
Simone Eli of CBS 42 in Birmingham reported that, not only did five unidentified players test positive, but that many more could be subject to quarantine as roughly 50 players were gathered together on the band field on Wednesday.
Alabama, and the rest of the SEC, is able to open up for voluntary offseason workouts on June 8. Eli reports that the group of players on the football field were there on their own and not part of any organized team activity.
The SEC announced last month that it will allow teams to begin voluntary offseason workouts on June 8. The conference’s announcement detailed the proper procedures that need to be taken by schools with players who test positive.
Student-athletes must be screened before arriving on campus within 72 hours of entering facilities and on a daily basis upon resumption of athletics activities. Players who test positive must be immediately isolated and the school will begin contact tracing and following CDC and local health guidelines.
Alabama isn’t the first school to have players test positive for COVID-19. Multiple Oklahoma State players tested positive this week, and Iowa State announced its first positive test within the athletic department on Wednesday.
The majority of schools either have already started offseason training or will begin workouts over the next 10 days. Due to the increased testing taking place for players returning to campus, more news positive tests will likely be coming throughout the college football world.
AL.com said at least one of the infected players, who was asymptomatic, attended the session. The report stated there had been no official word on the exact number of people on the team who tested positive, but there were “several.”
The state of Alabama has reported more than 19,000 cases of COVID-19 and 672 deaths as of Friday, according to public health numbers. That follows a recent spike in the number of reported cases in the state, with more than 5,000 in the last 14 days.