South Carolina State University is the latest MEAC school to have its athletic program affected by COVID-19. The Orangeburg campus made the announcement Tuesday that all athletic practices have been suspended. The suspension comes after the confirmation that an athletics staff member tested positive for COVID-19.
“To ensure the safety of our student-athletes and athletics staff, we have made the decision to suspend practices and are continuing to aggressively follow public health and safety guidelines,” university President James E. Clark said in a release.
This is the first known case of an employee testing positive since the university reopened on September 17. Contact tracing has been activated to determine if student-athletes were in direct contact with the employee.
Athletes are currently under quarantine awaiting the results of their most recent coronavirus tests. The football team had only practiced once prior to Tuesday’s announcement. Coach Buddy Pough says he hopes that the team can return to the practice at some point next week.
Bethune-Cookman opts out of spring
Yesterday Bethune-Cookman University announced that it was canceling its plans for spring sports, including football and basketball. The spike in COVID-19 cases in Florida brought about a change of mind for the Daytona campus.
South Carolina State has a limited number of students on campus for face-to-face learning during the fall semester. The university plans on increasing the number of on-campus students for the spring semester.
“The health, safety and well-being of our students, faculty, staff and community remain our number one priority,” Clark said. “We are committed to making certain that our students have an open path to continue their academic pursuits, even in a pandemic, and we are making plans for further enhanced testing as we prepare for the majority of students to return for the Spring semester.”