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OSU Updates COVID Data, Says Only Two Active Cases Within Football Team

This is quite encouraging news.



Photo via Bruce Waterfield/OSU Athletics

Oklahoma State updated its COVID-19 testing data on Monday and revealed that it is dealing with only five active cases of the disease between football, soccer, cross country and all other sports. Of those, only two are within the football program.

The data provided through Aug. 27 is an encouraging bit of news as the season fast approaches (in less two weeks!), with football seemingly almost in the clear. Just a week ago the football program had only two active cases, with one of those being a walk-on who tested positive before arriving on campus.

In total (as noted above), OSU has had 82 cumulative cases to date across all sports since arriving on campus on June 1. That means for the most part, outbreaks have been contained and the football program has escaped significant disruptions.

That could be luck of the draw, but it could be because Oklahoma State has quietly emerged as an industry leader on the COVID front. As Max Olson of The Athletic wrote earlier this month, its connections with in-house OSU labs allows for it to get quick turnaround on results — a huge benefit with as much testing as it is conducting across sports.

Oklahoma State can get results in less than 24 hours and test as frequently as it would like thanks to its on-campus diagnostic lab. Kansas State tested 100-plus players and coaches last Sunday and got results back — zero positives — the next day. Iowa State runs tests through its veterinary diagnostic lab and generally gets results back in 24 to 48 hours. At Texas Tech, coach Matt Wells understands the Red Raiders are in a fortunate position relative to their peers.

As part of OSU’s plan (as Olson wrote about earlier this summer) to bring back athletes to campus, there was an expectation that positive tests would happen, that those infected would be quarantined, and that the healthy would go about business as usual in a phased approach.

We saw that play out in ESPN+’s documentary of the football program recently with Amen Ogbonbemiga, OSU’s star linebacker who tested positive. He tested positive after attending a Black Lives Matter rally in Tulsa, and was quarantined by himself on campus for two weeks. Now, like others who have been infected, he’s back with the team and prepping for the 2020 season at full strength.

“We have to do everything we can to be over the top preventative,” said Gundy in the doc regarding COVID-19 measures.

Among those who have publicly acknowledged they have been infected include Ogbongbemiga, Malcolm Rodriguez and Trace Ford.

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