Iowa State’s athletic department coronavirus mitigation plan continues to be a major positive, while football programs throughout the country announce significant COVID-19 tests.
In a letter to fans Thursday, athletics director Jamie Pollard wrote that only four out of 160 players and staff had tested positive during the voluntary workout phase of football’s return.
That’s significant, considering Kansas State and Houston paused football activities. According reddit.com’s unofficial list of positive test totals, Clemson has 23 positive football COVID tests, LSU has 30 and Texas has 11. It’s an impartial list, because not everyone reports positive tests. The website lists Iowa with nine positive football tests.
“The diligent commitment to safety by our medical staffs has been instrumental to our low numbers,” Pollard wrote in his letter to fans. “The next hurdle will be when the football team begins team activities on July 13.
“Given that Story County has experienced a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases (471 total cases since June 1), we are very pleased by the commitment that our student-athletes, coaches and medical staff have made to mitigating COVID-19 infections. We recognize the sacrifices being made by our student-athletes to adhere to mitigation guidelines is probably greater than many other residents in Story County.”
Pollard’s letter adds that all available tickets have been sold for the 2020 season, which will include 50% capacity in Jack Trice Stadium.
Also, Pollard said:
- Tailgating time will be shortened.
- A face covering will be required to enter the stadium.
- Tickets will be digital.
- Additional hand sanitizing stations will be available.
- Stadium entrance procedures will change.
- Concession stands will be modified.
“We will also provide our season-ticket holders the opportunity to temporarily relocate to a less-populated section for 2020, or request a refund if they are not comfortable attending games,” Pollard wrote. “The safety of all participants and fans remains the top priority, and that is why such thorough and comprehensive mitigation plans are being vetted for all of our venues.
“Attempts to implement mitigation strategies to a standard of absolute protection is simply not reasonable. It will ultimately be up to each attendee to decide if they are comfortable attending games given the mitigation strategies we implement.
“Although athletics events will have significantly reduced capacities this year, we hope to continue to be a significant economic engine for our community and state. We recognize that our athletics events play a significant role in the economic well-being of many businesses and residents. That is a responsibility we do not take lightly.”
Iowa State columnist Randy Peterson has been writing for the Des Moines Register for parts of six decades. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org, 515-284-8132, and on Twitter at @RandyPete. No one covers the Cyclones like the Register. Subscribe today at DesMoinesRegister.com/Deal to make sure you never miss a moment.
Source: Des Moines Register