OLEAN — In over 600 COVID-19 tests administered since July, the St. Bonaventure Athletics Department has received just one positive case.
The St. Bonaventure University student population returned to campus with the start of the fall semester Aug. 24. With all students back on campus, the Athletic Department has implemented its COVID-19 Return to Play Action Plan.
After a recommended 14 days of physical distancing and a negative COVID-19 test prior to leaving their hometowns followed by a second round of COVID-19 testing and physical exams on campus, student-athletes have begun returning to team workout activities.
Student-athletes were permitted to return to voluntary activity once passing a physical and receiving two negative test results for COVID-19.
Members of the St. Bonaventure men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, golf and men’s and women’s tennis teams were cleared to start training workouts during the week of Aug. 31. Men’s and women’s cross country/track, baseball, softball, and men’s and women’s lacrosse teams received clearance this week. Men’s and women’s basketball returned to campus in late July.
In addition to a negative test that each student-athlete needed to submit before traveling to campus as part of University protocol, athletes from all 17 Division I sports were tested again through testing administered by the Cattaraugus County Health Department. In addition, any student-athlete who did not spend the summer in the United States was tested every other day over a period of 10 days before receiving clearance to resume workouts.
All St. Bonaventure student-athletes were re-tested during the past two weeks.
Results of the most recent COVID-19 testing are below (total tests administered):
Total student-athlete and staff tests: 532; Positive: 1
Results of all on-campus COVID-19 testing to date (total tests administered):
Total student-athlete and staff tests: 601; Positive: 1
A student-athlete tested positive on an initial test, but later produced two negative test results. The student-athlete tested negative on both the University’s Sophia-2 antigen testing machine and on a second PCR swab test. Using an abundance of caution, the student-athlete will remain in isolation and their close contacts will remain in quarantine for the duration of their specified periods as dictated by Cattaraugus County Health Department safety protocols.
“What a tremendous accomplishment by our student-athletes, and a tribute to the efforts of our Department of Athletics and our Student Affairs team, who conveyed the importance of compliance and developed a regimented plan that made success possible,” said Dr. Dennis DePerro, University President.
“But to our entire campus population, please don’t take this great news as a license to become complacent. We’re doing remarkably well so far, but we need everyone to continue to adhere to the safety protocols we’ve established. We still have 10 weeks to go.”
To ensure the safety of student-athletes and members of the campus community, the Athletics Department is following new protocols as part of its six-week Return To Play plan.
Here are a few of the key points of the plan:
All student-athletes received testing for COVID-19 before returning to campus at local testing centers nearest their homes. In the two weeks prior to returning to campus, student-athletes were asked to self-quarantine. Student-athletes arriving from states on the New York travel quarantine list were required to fulfill a 14-day quarantine period on campus.
Each student-athlete was tested for COVID-19 on campus after their arrival with testing provided by the Cattaraugus County Health Department in partnership with Olean General Hospital.
Once testing was completed, student-athletes were permitted to enter Phase Two of Return To Play with teams broken up into small groups participating in non-contact workouts.
Student-athletes are required to complete a health screening each day they are on campus through an app before going to class or attending team activities.
Any athlete flagged from the COVID-19 health questionnaire will be evaluated by a physician.
Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 while on campus will be moved to an isolation room on campus where a 10-day isolation period will be required by the Cattaraugus County Health Department while services such as food and pharmacy delivery and garbage removal will be provided daily by training staff. After completion of the 10-day isolation period, the person will be given an appointment for a COVID-19 diagnostic follow-up test at a local testing site. All direct contacts of the positive person will be required to complete a 14-day quarantine period with daily attention from University staff.
Policies will be set in motion to keep equipment cleaned and wiped down before and after each team workout. Student-athletes will arrive to workouts dressed for participation and locker rooms are currently closed except for bathroom use.
Face coverings are provided to each student-athlete and they are expected to wear them at all times on campus when not participating in an active workout. All coaches and staff will wear face coverings at all times as well.
Hand sanitizer and disinfectant will be available in all buildings and areas athletes frequently access.
After 14 days of small group workouts, teams will begin to enter Phase Three of Return To Play with contact drills resuming. At the end of the six-week period, teams may resume full practices and competition. Social distancing protocols will remain in place at all other times.
Any team that has an individual test positive for COVID-19 will pause workouts for two weeks as per Cattaraugus County safety protocol.