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Maryland suspends football workouts after nine individuals test positive for coronavirus

Maryland athletics on Saturday announced it is suspending voluntary football workouts after reporting its first positive cases of the coronavirus.

According to a news release, in an on-campus screening of 185 student-athletes and staff conducted Tuesday and Wednesday, nine individuals tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The individuals have been notified and are in self-isolation. Contact tracing is ongoing through the Prince George’s County Health Department and all individuals must follow a 14-day self-observation period.

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“Under guidance from the Prince George’s County Health Department, we have temporarily suspended voluntary, individual training for the football program,” the release said.

Maryland welcomed back football student-athletes for individual, voluntary workouts on June 15. In its initial on-campus screening of 105 individuals in June, the program reported no positive tests for COVID-19. In total, 290 individuals have been tested and nine have tested positive, a positivity rate of 3.1%.

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Maryland becomes the latest program to suspend its summer workouts after reporting cases of COVID-19. On Wednesday, the Ivy League became the first Divison I conference to change its sports schedule, postponing fall sports until at least January 2021.

The Big Ten on Thursday became the first Power Five conference to adjust its fall sports schedule because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, shifting to a conference-only schedule. The Pac-12 followed a day later. Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren admitted to the Big Ten Network there is a possibility there may be no fall sports played.

“As we continue this initial phase of our return to campus, in order to protect the privacy of those student-athletes who test positive,” the release said, “Maryland Athletics will publicly release the aggregate number of positive tests at regular intervals.”

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