UConn women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday and is now isolating at his home, the program announced Monday evening. He is not experiencing symptoms. News of Auriemma's positive test comes just hours before the Women's NCAA Tournament bracket is set to be revealed.
The program underwent contact tracing protocols and determined that Auriemma did not have close contact with any other team member since March 12. All other Tier 1 personnel within the program have turned in negative tests for COVID-19 since daily testing ahead of the tournament began on March 9 in accordance with NCAA protocols.
"After we received notification of the positive test result yesterday, we initiated contact tracing protocols, which included interviewing individual members of the basketball program and in-depth video analysis of practice," director of sports medicine and head team physician Deena Casiero said in a statement from the team. "Only household close contacts were identified. Given the fact that we have been doing daily testing for the past seven days, we feel confident that we were able to catch this very early on in the disease process. The remainder of Tier I tested negative yesterday and today."
UConn -- as usual -- is a surefire No. 1 seed in the tournament, according to CBS Sports' Matt Ward. The team is scheduled to depart campus for San Antonio on Tuesday morning ahead of the Women's NCAA Tournament start.
The timing of Auriemma's test could allow him to return to the team during March Madness should UConn still be in the hunt, but he must remain in isolation for 10 days, setting a potential date to rejoin the team for March 24. He had just received a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on March 10 before testing positive.
"I'm feeling well but disappointed that I will be away from the team for the next several days," Auriemma said. "Fortunately, I have a great coaching staff who will lead us during my absence. This revelation is a reminder that, while there is a light at the end of the tunnel, we are not on the other side of this pandemic yet. The full effect of vaccines does not occur until 14 days after our last vaccine dose, and for those of us getting two-dose vaccine, that means we're not in the clear after just one-dose. My team and I need to remain vigilant in the areas of mask-wearing and social distancing as we continue this fight against COVID."