UNT testing update

North Texas has nine active cases of COVID-19 in its athletics department. 

North Texas athletics is dealing with nine active cases of COVID-19, while nine members of the department have recovered from an infection.

UNT has conducted 385 coronavirus tests as it continues the process of bringing the members of its athletic department, including staff and athletes, back to campus in the wake of the pandemic.

A UNT official confirmed the totals to the Denton Record-Chronicle on Saturday afternoon.

The school is administering nasal swab tests to all of its athletes and staff members as they return to campus. Such tests detect active COVID-19 infections.

The latest batch of results came back Saturday. UNT is not identifying which teams the athletes who tested positive play for.

The last of four waves of football players returned to campus on Monday, when UNT opened the NCAA’s summer return-to-play period designed to get teams back up to speed for the beginning of fall practice. Each of the four waves included about 30 players.

The first three waves of players reported on three consecutive Mondays beginning June 8 to resume an offseason conditioning program before the final batch arrived this week. A small group of UNT’s staff members were the first to report to campus on June 3.

UNT started to bring its other teams, including its women’s basketball team, back to campus in the past few days. The women’s soccer team, men’s basketball team and volleyball team were also scheduled to return this month.

UNT now has five teams back on campus, the school official said.

UNT instituted a plan to handle the COVID-19 pandemic this summer that relies on testing and social distancing to contain infections. UNT is isolating all school officials and athletes who test positive for the virus to prevent its spread.

UNT had four athletes with active cases of COVID-19 as of July 6. At that point, UNT had one athlete and three staff members who had recovered from an infection.

Schools across the country are dealing with the pandemic, which has forced several to shut down their offseason programs. Indiana and Ohio State are among the latest schools that have been forced to halt athletic activities due to COVID-19.

Indiana paused football workouts after six players tested positive this week. Ohio State temporarily called off workouts for seven teams, including its football program, earlier this month. Ohio State did not reveal the number of players who tested positive.

BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870 and via Twitter at @brettvito.

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