Less than a day after announcing that two Kansas State athletes had tested positive for COVID-19, it appears four more Wildcats have joined the list.
The Manhattan Mercury reported Wednesday morning that, of the six new cases in Riley County, four were K-State football players, according to Vivienne Uccello, public information officer for the Manhattan city government.
Uccello told the Mercury that all of them contracted it in other states.
On Tuesday, the K-State athletics department reported that two of approximately 120 athletes who had undergone PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing came back positive. They were not identified as football players, but no other student-athletes are slated to return to campus until July 1.
Football players were asked to return starting June 1 for a week-long quarantine before undergoing testing. The Wildcats began voluntary workouts on Monday.
In a Tuesday statement, K-State said all student-athletes are required to follow the department’s return-to-campus policy, which includes a seven-day stay-at-home recommendation and quarantine upon arrival in Manhattan prior to testing. Under this protocol, they are not allowed inside any K-State athletics facilities and may not take part in voluntary or required team activities before producing a negative test result.
"We will always keep our focus on the health and well-being of our student-athletes and staff," K-State athletics director Gene Taylor said in a statement. "A small number of positive tests was something that we were anticipating based on what we are seeing from across college football, and our medical staff and coaching staffs are well prepared for the next steps.
"While we know this is a very fluid situation, we have a great plan in place and all of our student-athletes have done their part in following the correct procedures to return to campus."
According to the K-State release, each student-athlete testing positive is medically managed according to current local, state, national and CDC guidelines, starting with self-isolation for 10 days and until the patient is without fever for 72 hours without medication, whichever takes longer. The guidelines would also include quarantine for any individuals known to have been in contact with someone who tested positive.
K-State Athletics announced that it will continue PCR and antibody testing of athletes as they return to campus and will provide future updates.