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NMSU Athletics confirms 20 more positive tests for virus

New Mexico State athletic director Mario Moccia said 20 additional positive tests for the coronavirus came after student-athletes were encouraged to re-test. (Journal File)

LAS CRUCES — New Mexico State announced Tuesday that athletic workouts would remain suspended as additional COVID-19 testing has revealed 20 additional positive cases (including athletes and staff members) while seven individuals are still awaiting results.

There were 135 negative results, and the positive tests affected multiple sports.

New Mexico State shut down voluntary workouts on June 30 after six student-athletes and one member of the strength and conditioning staff tested positive.

Student-athletes were encouraged to be re-tested, and athletic director Mario Moccia said the recent positive tests were a result of re-testing.

“I’m confident in the plan and that the people who were diagnosed as positives will quarantine and we hope all of those will turn into negatives,” said Moccia, who said individuals were tested June 30-July 1. “I don’t know how sure you can be of anything. There is always a risk of a start and stop situation.”

The Aggies began conducting voluntary strength and conditioning on June 8.

Under NCAA guidelines, the Aggies would be allowed to begin in-person meetings and walkthroughs on July 17 and fall preseason camp on July 31. That is currently to be determined by university officials, team doctors and the university’s COVID-19 committee.

Moccia said athletes from all programs have been encouraged by himself and coaches to isolate as much as possible when they are away from campus.

“I have seen messages from (head football coach Doug Martin) and you cannot misread them, to impress upon the team how serious it is,” Moccia said. “I have heard them tell them, and I have told the football team, and others, how important it is.”

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