Emporia State temporarily suspends athletics after more than a dozen student-athletes test positive for COVID-19.
The university was notified Tuesday by Lyon County Public Health that they were investigating a cluster of five positive cases connected to the baseball team, according to a press release from ESU Athletics. After further investigation and testing all athletes, they found a total of 14 student-athletes who tested positive for COVID-19 as of 3 p.m. today.
“Under the Athletics suspension, academic meetings still will be allowed,” said President Allison Garrett in an email notifying campus. “We will continue our random testing program, and Kent Weiser (ESU athletic director) and the team in Athletics will continue to evaluate the situation.”
It is unclear when athletic activities will resume.
“Because team activities only began on Monday, and Athletics is following strict protocols from the NCAA, we believe some of these cases came through social interactions,” said Garrett. “We also know from our own records that we have other cases of COVID-19 on campus that are not clustered and not connected to Athletics.”
ESU is not the first campus to experience this temporary shut down. Over the summer, both Kansas State University and the University of Kansas suspended football workouts due to COVID-19 clusters among their athletes. Across the nation, other universities, like the University of North Carolina, are experiencing similar outbreaks in their athletic teams.
"It is imperative that everyone connected to campus follow the guidance we have already provided," Garrett said. "Wear face masks, practice social distance of at least 6-feet and good hygiene like washing hands."