Plans to move to a 20-hour week have been put on hold for the Michigan State football program after a staff member tested positive on Wednesday for COVID-19.
The school announced on Wednesday evening that all workouts have been paused until complete test results have been received.
“As Michigan State football prepared for the beginning of the 20-hour week, during which student-athletes and staff would be in larger groups than they had been during voluntary workouts or the eight-hour weeks,” the school said in a statement, “it conducted surveillance COVID-19 testing on all staff members over the weekend, and previously scheduled surveillance COVID-19 testing on student-athletes Wednesday afternoon.
“Late Wednesday afternoon, after testing on student-athletes had been completed, one staff member received a positive result. Michigan State football will pause workouts and will not begin its 20-hour weeks until it receives the complete results from all surveillance testing.”
Michigan State football players began arriving on campus June 15 for voluntary workouts. At that time, members of the men’s and women’s basketball teams also were permitted to return.
Testing continued as teams went through voluntary workouts and 8-hour weeks, and as of Friday, Michigan State athletics reported at total of eight positive tests. There have been a total of 402 tests on student-athletes, with seven positive results. Since June 15, there had been 104 tests on staff members, with one positive result. Prior to student-athletes returning to campus, an additional 15-20 members of MSU’s medical and athletic training staff were tested in order to prepare for the student-athletes. All of those tests were negative.
On July 8, Ohio State paused workouts in football and six other sports but did not release the number of positive tests. The school resumed workouts six days later.
Teams around the country are slowly attempting to prepare for a season that is far from a guarantee. At the least, the Big Ten season will look different than originally planned.
On July 9, the Big Ten announced it would play only conference games if a season was played with reports that it would include a 10-game season. Since then, the Pac-12 has made a similar move while the SEC, ACC and Big 12 — the other members of the Power Five — are said to be considering their options, including the idea of a “plus-one” schedule where they play their eight conference games and one non-conference game.