Ohio State has put a pause on all football team-related activities and closed the Woody Hayes Athletic Center administrative offices for one week due to a rise in positive coronavirus cases.
The decision announced on Tuesday morning was made by athletic director Gene Smith and head team physician Jim Borchers. They made the call following the latest round of PCR testing conducted on Monday.
“Our decisions on the welfare of our student-athletes, staff members and those coming to our campus, and our determination as to when we will reopen and resume activities, will continue to be guided by our medical staff,” Smith said in a statement. “We have been successful in safely hosting nearly 100 athletic events on campus this year with limited disruptions, but this pandemic is not over. We will continue to stress the safety measures of wearing masks, consistent and thorough hand washing and physical distancing and we will remain vigilant in those areas.”
This is the first pause for the football program since it had a four-day pause on team activities in late November.
It's unclear how many positive cases there are – or have been – within the football program. The athletic department has chosen not to disclose more specific statistics on COVID-19 test results beyond what the university as a whole provides.
Ohio State is currently scheduled to begin spring football practices on March 19. If the Buckeyes are able to get back to work in a week, they'll return to the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on March 16, giving them three days in the facility before opening camp at the end of the week.