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Some Student Athletes Return To OSU This Week, Only After COVID-19 Testing

Oregon State Athletics

Around 100 student athletes from various sports are being welcomed back to Oregon State University's campus this week, with more expected over the next several weeks. 

OSU Athletic Director Scott Barnes said there is a process for getting athletes cleared for their voluntary workouts. He explained that “it started with a 14-day quarantine at home, we bring them here, we test them, then we do a physical examination.” Testing began Monday, with the voluntary workouts slated to begin Thursday.

Athletes will be training in pods of 10 students who’ve been grouped together intentionally, according to their living situations. Protocols are being implemented such as wearing masks, temperature checks, limiting access to equipment, and thorough cleaning of equipment and areas between groups.

Dr. Doug Aukerman, OSU’s Senior Associate Athletic Director for Sports Medicine, said “we’re going to be doing workouts in a non-contact format so the risk to those student athletes is no greater than the risk to the general population as it relates to the spread of the coronavirus.”

Until this point, athletes and their parents have been participating in Zoom sessions with the sports medicine staff focused on education about COVID-19. Aukerman said the education efforts will be ongoing as the athletic staff will meet regularly with students to make sure they understand how to protect themselves from COVID-19 and how to recognize symptoms should they become infected. He also said they are working on changing the culture of trying to push through sickness by encouraging athletes to be willing to admit they're sick.

There’s still no word on when actual competition might resume and what that will look like when it happens.

Copyright 2020, KLCC

Love Cross joined KLCC in 2017. She began her public radio career as a graduate student, serving as Morning Edition Host for Boise State Public Radio in the late 1990s. She earned her undergraduate degree in Rhetoric and Communication from University of California at Davis, and her Master’s Degree from Boise State University. In addition to her work in public radio, Love teaches college-level courses in Communication and Public Speaking.