13 University of Texas Longhorns have tested positive for COVID-19

By Taylor Estes

According to University of Texas officials, 13 Texas Longhorns athletes have tested positive for COVID-19.

Executive Senior Associate Athletics Director for Sports Medicine & Performance Allen Hardin:

“Including two reported from initial surveillance testing last week, as of Thursday, Texas Athletics has had 13 total Football student-athletes who have confirmed positive COVID-19 PCR test results or are presumed positive.”

Texas officials also stated the following:

“All 13 are now self-isolating. Through contact tracing, 10 more Football student-athletes are in self-quarantine, all of whom are asymptomatic at this time. In addition, Texas has identified four football student-athletes who have tested positive for the COVID-19 antibody.”

This news comes after the Longhorns welcomed back the players to campus, who would undergo COVID-19 testing upon arrival. In documents obtained by Horns247 last week, the Longhorns’ return to campus included “extensive education” pertaining to the new protocols UT officials have put in place to continuously practice social distancing.

According to the documents, football student-athletes were to undergo “extensive education” on their new protocols, including how they’ll use three, outdoor, covered weight rooms that have been constructed at Denius Practice Fields. The three separate weight rooms were created to allow for social distancing as student-athletes work out in small groups on Monday, Wednesday and Friday beginning June 15, which is the first day when the Big 12 is allowing conference members to begin conducting voluntary workouts.

A group of roughly 67 student-athletes — known as Group 1 — underwent COVID-19 testing last Monday and Tuesday. That group of players was made up of those who were arriving back to campus from out of town, according to the documents.

The testing on Monday and Tuesday of this week was for Group 2, featuring roughly 49 student-athletes, and Group 3, made up of roughly 17 student-athletes.

Group 2 was made up of players who have been living in Austin (either at home or in apartments) during the pandemic, while Group 3 is made up of newcomers to the program, including the incoming freshmen class, the documents said. Voluntary workouts for Group 2 and 3 are scheduled to begin June 22.

Newcomers in Group 3 will be cleared to begin voluntary workouts after the student-athlete “receives clearance from Sports Medicine team” and completes “mandatory education requirements.”

Players will be required to wear “face coverings” at all times during the voluntary workouts, maintaining six feet of social distance with repeated hand sanitizing.

Temperature checks will be required each time upon entry into Denius Fields at a station staffed by members of the sports medicine team wearing appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE).

Players are being told not to “shake hands, hug, fist bump or high five.”

What’s next for the Longhorns?

Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte has said Texas expected to have players test positive for COVID-19 and that the protocols laid out by UT ahead of time, including the testing of players in three, separate groups, was designed to keep players who test positive from coming in contact with all of their teammates.