Health department quarantines all Miami University athletes

The Butler County General Health District is quarantining all Miami University student-athletes who have returned to Oxford, and any coaches or staff who had contact with them.

The university was informed Monday that 27 student-athletes from various teams tested positive for COVID-19. The fall sports season has been canceled, but athletes have been on campus working out and practicing.

“Miami University is fully supportive of and cooperating with the Butler County General Health District. We have worked with them throughout the pandemic to help safeguard the health of our students, faculty, staff and communities,” Miami President Gregory Crawford stated in a release.

Many, but not all, of the athletes who tested positive for the coronavirus had attended an off-campus party more than a week ago, according to a release from the university. All student-athletes were placed under a 14-day quarantine to make sure no one is missed during contact tracing, county health officials said.

“My concern for the health of all of our student-athletes is paramount,” said David Sayler, director of athletics. “I am disappointed that poor judgment has led to this quarantine order and put in jeopardy our efforts to have our teams study and practice together.”

Those in quarantine can’t leave their homes except for urgent medical needs.

“Decisions must be made swiftly in order to contain an outbreak,” said Jennifer Bailer, health commissioner of the Butler County General Health district. “Due to the large numbers of positive COVID test results and symptomatic individuals within this group, casting a wide net was the most prudent option as so many athletes have had high-risk exposures. This decision was made in collaboration with Miami University in order to try to contain further spread of COVID-19 both on and off campus.”

The Mid-American Conference announced Aug. 8 the postponement of all fall sports, citing concerns relating to the pandemic.

Miami University reported 12 COVID-19 cases during its first week of classes, which started Aug. 17 with all undergraduate courses online. Move-in for incoming freshman is the week of Sept. 14, with in-person classes scheduled to start Sept. 21.

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