Two Marshall football players and one employee tested positive for the coronavirus last weekend, the school announced Monday, as voluntary football workouts restarted at the Huntington, West Virginia, campus.
The three -- and others who could have been exposed to the virus -- did not take part in any activity. The university said they are asymptomatic, and the cases are not believed to be related. The players came from a group that was summoned to campus last week to be self-isolated for seven days while receiving COVID-19 tests.
Members of the Thundering Herd who participated in Monday's workouts underwent extreme safety measures upon entering the indoor facility at 7 a.m. The players who worked out did so with masks provided by the school.
"It really isn't surprising that we've had these positive test results, given the prevalence of the virus across the country," Tracy Smith, Marshall's director of environmental health and safety, said in a release. "The processes we put in place ahead of time are working well, and we will keep working our plan, with the safety of our campus community as our top priority."
Marshall athletic director Mike Hamrick assembled a COVD-19 task force in the leadup to the restart, which detailed not only the return -- and the preparation for the return -- but also what should and shouldn't be done during workouts. Monday's sessions involved small groups who went from station to station, including the weight room and practice turf.
"The campus has taken a long, close look at this," Jared Muth, Marshall's associate athletic trainer, told the department's website. "They're going to take a lot of notes from how we are doing things, so they want to help us out and make sure we get this right. We get one chance at this. We want to put our plan into action, and when we get this right, we can show people how this is done.
"We want to be the example."