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Houston Cougars suspend voluntary workouts after six athletes test positive for virus

The school in USF’s American Athletic Conference says it makes the move out of an “abundance of caution.”
Houston Cougars long snapper Nick Wildberger (97) and kicker Dalton Witherspoon celebrate Witherspoon's field goal against Washington State in a September 2019 game. Houston said Friday that six athletes it didn't name tested positive for the coronavirus with symptoms while it was having voluntary workouts and that it was shutting down the workouts.
Houston Cougars long snapper Nick Wildberger (97) and kicker Dalton Witherspoon celebrate Witherspoon's field goal against Washington State in a September 2019 game. Houston said Friday that six athletes it didn't name tested positive for the coronavirus with symptoms while it was having voluntary workouts and that it was shutting down the workouts. [ MICHAEL WYKE | AP ]
Published Jun. 12, 2020
Updated Jun. 13, 2020

The University of Houston is suspending all voluntary workouts for its athletes after six tested positive for the coronavirus with symptoms.

Houston — a member of USF’s American Athletic Conference — announced Friday it was shutting down workouts due to “an abundance of caution” and an increase of positive tests in the greater Houston area over the last week.

Related: USF football clear of coronavirus so far, Jeff Scott says

The school said the athletes, who were not identified, have been placed in isolation and medical staff is conducting contact-tracing procedures.

Schools around the country have begun bringing athletes back to campus this month for voluntary workouts. Athletes are being tested for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, and coronavirus antibodies, and given physical screenings through examines and questionnaires.

There is no national standardized testing protocol for athletes.

Positive tests results had been expected and quickly have become fairly common as schools bring athletes back. Arkansas State announced that seven athletes tested positive. Alabama has had at least five. Clemson reported three athletes testing positive among 169 tests on students and coaches. UCF, another American Athletic Conference team, reported three positives from its first 60 tests.

Houston was the first school to report its positive athletes were symptomatic and to halt workouts because of the results.

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