Schools began testing players for COVID-19 when they returned to campus for voluntary workouts in June. Since then, we've seen multiple schools announce that they are shutting down due to a high number of positive tests and contact tracing, with several others made public high numbers that have limited their ability to prepare for the season.
LSU has had an extremely high number of players contact the disease in the preseason, according to Tigers coach Ed Orgeron.
"Not all of our players, but most of our players have caught it," Orgeron said at his Tuesday press conference. "So I think that hopefully they don't catch it again and hopefully they are not out for games."
Orgeron did not specify how many of the 115 players on the roster actually have tested positive or when those positive tests were conducted. He did say that "three or four" players are currently out of action due to quarantine mandates
The news that "most" of LSU's players have caught COVID-19 is the next bit of news in an offseason that certainly suggests that Orgeron's claim is accurate. This news comes just a few weeks after the Tigers had an outbreak along the offensive line that limited them to just four healthy offensive linemen in practice. Sports Illustrated reported in June that 30 LSU players were in quarantine after testing positive for the novel coronavirus.
NCAA coronavirus guidelines state that players who test positive must sit for 10 days and be symptom-free for three days. Players who have been in "high risk" contact with infected individuals must sit out for 14 days. The NCAA defines "high risk" contact as being within six feet of an infected individual for 15 or more minutes without a face covering.
The SEC's policy says that players with prior confirmed COVID-19 infection who are within a 90-day window of symptom onset or a positive test (if asymptomatic), won't be required to quarantine if they coming in contact with an individual with COVD-19. However, players who develop symptoms within that 90-day window could require retesting if "an alternative etiology is not identified."
The news of LSU's high number of players potentially having contracted COVID-19 over the last few months comes just one day after Texas Tech reported that 75 of its football players have had the coronavirus since testing began. Six of those 75 players are active cases while the rest have recovered