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Arizona Wildcats athletics issues COVID-19 testing update

TUCSON, ARIZONA - SEPTEMBER 14: General view of action between the Texas Tech Red Raiders and the Arizona Wildcats during the first half of the NCAAF game at Arizona Stadium on September 14, 2019 in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The University of Arizona athletics department issued a statement on Friday saying that its COVID-19 testing has resulted in three positives, nearly three weeks after it stopped welcoming new athletes to campus because of the pandemic.

At the time that it paused the return of student athletes, one person out of 83 athletes had tested positive. The school’s update on Friday gave new data about its coronavirus testing results.

Arizona said it continued testing those 83 athletes who were on campus, resulting in 366 tests. There were only three positives, the school said, and two of those individuals were asymptomatic. All three were removed from voluntary workouts and entered isolation protocols, a statement said. There were also 28 staff members tested, and all were negative.

“When we made the decision to pause bringing additional student-athletes back to campus, we did so out of an abundance of caution,” Arizona athletic director Dave Heeke said in a statement. “Our athletics department’s re-entry, testing and medical processes have been effective and efficient.”

A statement said the testing protocols include an antibody test when a student returns to campus, plus weekly COVID-19 tests done both orally and through the nose. There are also weekly antigen tests.

“Arizona Athletics will continue to work closely with President Robbins, University leadership and campus partners in our commitment to protect the health of our community,” Heeke said in the statement. “Assessments and consultations with our local health authorities, the University of Arizona, the Pac-12 Conference and the NCAA are ongoing as we look to resume the safe and healthy return of student-athletes and staff to campus.”