BUIES CREEK — Two Campbell University football players have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the program's director of athletics Omar Banks.
As first reported by WRAL, 130 tests have been completed among CU coaches, players and team personnel, two of which returned an "asymptomatic positive" result.
"The biggest thing I tell all the players and coaches is that they have to adhere to social distancing, and they have to wear a mask," Banks said in a phone interview with The Daily Record on Thursday. "We want to make sure (the players) stay inside of (their) bubble."
Banks added that the positive results came back a couple of weeks ago and that the affected players have been in quarantine since. He noted that test results are averaging a five-day turnaround and the university is currently awaiting 15-20 results.
The Camels started a multi-phase plan on June 15 to safely return players to campus. The plan allowed seven staggered groups to come back, spread over four weeks with this week marking the return of the final set of athletes.
Upon arrival, all players went through screening, temperature checks and COVID-19 testing.
According to the initial guidelines released by the school in June, "a positive test will result in quarantine in their home or dorm room" and "quarantine may discontinue if a student-athlete goes at least three days fever free (without medication) along with continued improvement of respiratory symptoms, and at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared, or two consecutive negative COVID-19 tests." The release also stated that positive cases are to be monitored daily by the athletic training staff to ensure proper care is given.
Meanwhile, players who yielded negative test results are allowed to resume what Banks calls the "resocialization process," which includes player-led, voluntary workouts in small groups. Athletes that are cleared for individual drills still have to abide by state mandates to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and have regular temperature checks.
Coach-led practices aren't allowed as of yet because of the NCAA rule that requires teams to wait 30 days before the opening game to hold organized activities. The Camels are set to open against Davidson on Sept. 5., which means full practices wouldn't begin until early August.
The news comes during the same week UNC-Chapel Hill administrators reported 37 positive tests among players and coaches, while N.C. State announced that five players tested positive since May 29.
Donnell Coley can be reached at email@example.com or 910-230-2040