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UNC has 37 athletics department Covid-19 tests come back positive, cancels football practice

The Tar Heels tested 429 students, coaches, and staff. The 8.6% positive rate was just too much.

Head coach Mack Brown of the North Carolina Tar Heels reacts after his team scores against the South Carolina Gamecocks during the Belk College Kickoff game at Bank of America Stadium on August 31, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The North Carolina Tar Heels have been hit with a wave of positive Covid-19 tests, and as such have cancelled all football activities for the time being.

UNC-Chapel Hill announced an outbreak of COVID-19 among its athletes on Wednesday that will halt the football team’s voluntary off-season workouts.

In a press release, the school said it conducted 429 tests of athletes, coaches and staff and 37 have tested positive for COVID-19. The Orange County Health Department has identified the situation as a cluster, which means there are five or more people who are positive for COVID-19.

Having 8.6% of people in what is theoretically a fully healthy sample of all parts of the Tar Heels athletic department is a massive number, and might portend even more issues going forward.

Student-athletes and coaches that test positive will be required to quarantine for two weeks, and will need to test negative before they can return to campus, or if they live on campus they’ll be required to stay isolated in their residence hall.

We’ve been down this road before, and it seems a lifetime ago but it was actually less than a month when the Houston Cougars did the same thing UNC does today. But these college campuses aren’t designed to isolate or quarantine student-athletes, and it’s showing in the spread in intercollegiate athletics facilities across America.

With the Ivy League cancelling all sports today until January 1, it might be time to ask: Is FBS college football far behind?