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Marshall football players who tested negative for COVID-19 returned to the Chris Cline Athletic Complex for voluntary workouts on Monday in Huntington.

HUNTINGTON — As part of the university’s COVID-19 testing protocols for student-athletes returning to campus for voluntary workouts, school officials announced Monday two Marshall University student-athletes and one employee tested positive for the virus over the weekend.

All three are asymptomatic, and the cases are not believed to be related, the university announced in a release. University and public health officials do not believe any of the three contracted the virus on campus.

The Office of Environmental Health and Safety is working with Marshall Health physicians Dr. Larry Dial and Dr. John Jasko, and the Athletic Department staff to make sure all protocols are being followed.

According to the release, these measures include:

  • All student-athletes arriving on campus are in mandatory self-isolation for one week;
  • Following the completion of the self-isolation period, all student-athletes are tested for COVID-19 and must return a confirmed negative result before being allowed out of self-isolation;
  • All Athletic Department employees who come in close contact with student-athletes are being tested; and
  • Any student-athlete returning a positive test is required to quarantine and follow positive test guidelines. A student-athlete who tests positive will be required to secure a negative test before completing the quarantine period.

The two student-athletes and the employee who tested positive are all in quarantine. Their close contacts are being identified and instructed to follow appropriate protocols, including quarantine or self-isolation, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Cabell-Huntington Health Department. If you are not contacted, your risk of exposure from the student-athletes or the employee is low.

“It really isn’t surprising that we’ve had these positive test results, given the prevalence of the virus across the country,” said Tracy Smith, director of the Office of Environmental Health, in the release. “The processes we put in place ahead of time are working well and we will keep working our plan, with the safety of our campus community as our top priority.”

Due to privacy regulations, the university is not releasing the affected student-athletes’ and employee’s names and other identifying information.

“It shows that what you are doing is working,” added Mike Hamrick, Marshall athletic director, on Monday. “If a positive comes up, we’ve caught it and we can quarantine them. Everyone else was negative and what we set out to do with our testing is working. I think that’s the positive thing about it. You want to know. That’s why you test.”

Hamrick said he was tested along with the student-athletes Wednesday so he could be permitted to observe practice.

Other than these three cases and the two employees reported in April, the university has had no other confirmed cases of COVID-19 among employees, students in the residence halls or student-athletes.

In the release, the university stressed it is essential that members of the university community continue to follow Centers for Disease Control guidelines for safety and health and the instructions in the university’s Return-to-Workplace Guide.

A portion of Marshall staff returned to campus last week as Phase 1 of the guide began. Phase 2 begins June 8, with 50% of campus employees returning over two weeks.

The Cabell-Huntington Health Department reported Monday morning there were 64 total confirmed cases in the county with 53 recovered. Two cases are considered probable. No deaths have been reported in the county.

The total in Wayne County on Monday topped 100. The Wayne County Health Department reported 101 total confirmed cases with 88 recovered. Nine people have died, all residents of Wayne Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

The nursing home reported last week all other 76 resident and staff members have recovered from COVID-19. One staff member is in self-quarantine pending test results.

Statewide, another death related to COVID-19 was reported, an 80-year-old man from Preston County. There were 18 new positive cases reported, bringing the total to 2,028, and 2,129 test results received by the state. Almost 6% of the population has been tested for COVID-19.

Cases per count (case confirmed by lab test/probable case): Barbour (9/0), Berkeley (303/11), Boone (9/0), Braxton (2/0), Brooke (4/1), Cabell (64/2), Calhoun (2/0), Clay (5/0), Fayette (50/0), Gilmer (10/0), Grant (11/1), Greenbrier (9/0), Hampshire (31/0), Hancock (17/2), Hardy (39/0), Harrison (39/1), Jackson (137/0), Jefferson (179/5), Kanawha (227/2), Lewis (9/0), Lincoln (6/0), Logan (17/0), Marion (50/1), Marshall (30/0), Mason (15/0), McDowell (6/0), Mercer (13/0), Mineral (45/2), Mingo (5/2), Monongalia (122/11), Monroe (6/1), Morgan (17/1), Nicholas (8/0), Ohio (42/0), Pendleton (11/2), Pleasants (3/1), Pocahontas (20/1), Preston (20/5), Putnam (34/0), Raleigh (15/1), Randolph (131/0), Ritchie (1/0), Roane (9/0), Summers (1/0), Taylor (8/1), Tucker (4/0), Tyler (3/0), Upshur (6/1), Wayne (100/0), Wetzel (9/0), Wirt (4/0), Wood (50/3), Wyoming (3/0).

In Ohio, there were 471 new positive cases reported Monday for a total of 35,984 and 51 new deaths for a total of 2,206.

In Kentucky, there were 214 new positive cases reported for a total of 10,046 and eight new deaths for a total of 439.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine did not have a press briefing Monday as downtown Columbus continues to be filled with protesters in response to the Minneapolis death of George Floyd. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear had a briefing to address protests in Louisville overnight. A man was killed by police during protests over the March 13 death of Breonna Taylor by the Louisville Police Department.

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