On Thursday afternoon, the University of Wisconsin athletic department released a statement saying that three more members of the Wisconsin Badgers football team received positive test results for COVID-19.
The three new positive cases were two staff members and one athlete. While there is no date set for return to activity, the earliest possible date is Wednesday, Nov. 4 which would still keep the Purdue game on schedule to be played. The earliest head coach Paul Chryst can return to coach is Friday, Nov. 7.
While there is a possibility that the Purdue game could happen as scheduled, it seems unlikely as there are still potentially more cases on the team that haven’t been discovered yet. The Badgers already, voluntarily, canceled their game against Nebraska this Saturday after their first round of positive tests came back, putting them in the the orange/red zone of the Big Ten protocols.
With the new positive tests no one has confirmed if the Badgers have moved into the red/red section, which is a mandatory shutdown of team activities, but one would assume they are close.
Athletic director Barry Alvarez received a negative COVID-19 test.
Here is the full statement:
As of Thursday morning, the Wisconsin football program had two additional staff members and one additional student-athlete register confirmed positive PCR tests for COVID-19. One positive result was received late yesterday while two others were confirmed this morning. These were the pending results referenced in Wednesday morning’s announcement. There are currently 16 active COVID-19 cases in the program, including 15 positive tests since Oct. 24.
Wisconsin Athletics’ focus at the moment is to stop the spread of the virus for the health and safety of the program’s student-athletes and staff. There is no definitive timeline for a return to in-person football activities, but the earliest that could occur is Wednesday, Nov. 4. A return to activity depends upon the success of ongoing mitigation efforts. Head coach Paul Chryst, per CDC and Big Ten guidelines, can return to the team in person following a 10-day isolation period, on Saturday, Nov. 7 at the earliest.
Wisconsin Athletics has secured rooms at a local hotel for football players that have not recorded positive tests in an effort to further separate those who live together and mitigate the spread of the virus. Each of the players in the hotel has his own room and the rooms are all located in the same area of the hotel so as to limit exposure to other hotel guests. These living arrangements will remain in effect as long as Wisconsin Athletics deems it necessary.
Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez, who yesterday referenced taking a PCR test, received his results today and tested negative for COVID-19.
Members of the football program continue to take part in daily testing. Wisconsin Athletics plans to provide further updates on Saturday, Oct. 31.