Marshall announces 3 positive coronavirus cases as athletes return to campus

Two Marshall athletes and one staffer tested positive for COVID-19 last weekend, just days after the university started allowing certain staff and athletes to return to campus, the school announced.

The three people are all asymptomatic and are now in quarantine, and the cases aren’t believed to be related, per the release. Their close contacts are also being identified. 

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The school has implemented several safety measures ahead of athletes returning to campus. Students must, per the report, self-isolate for one week when arriving back on campus and test negative for the coronavirus after that isolation period is up. All athletic department employees who come in contact with the athletes are reportedly being tested, too. 

“It shows that what you are doing is working,” Marshall athletic director Mike Hamrick said, via the Herald-Dispatch. “If a positive comes up, we’ve caught it and we can quarantine them. Everyone else was negative and what we set out to do with our testing is working. I think that’s the positive thing about it. You want to know. That’s why you test.”

There were more than 1.8 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States as of Monday night, according to The New York Times, and more than 105,000 deaths attributed to it. 

West Virginia had more than 2,000 cases and just 76 deaths, however, among the lowest in the nation. The two counties where Marshall sits on the western border of the state had less than 200 cases and just nine deaths.

Gov. Jim Justice has implemented a plan to begin lifting restrictions on sports across all levels in the state, per the Associated Press. Youth, middle school and high school teams can start training again on June 8, and games can resume without spectators on June 22. The second phase of Marshall’s return plan will also start on June 8, when 50 percent of employees will be allowed to return to campus. 

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