With another round of COVID-19 testing results in the books for UNM Athletics, the news was relatively good.
Athletic director Eddie Nuñez on Wednesday announced that 31 tests were conducted in “the week of June 29 through July 5” for a small number of staff but mostly athletes who are returning to campus to participate in voluntary summer strength and conditioning workouts. Of those, 30 were negative, and the lone positive test belonged to a staff member who has “had no interaction with student-athletes,” Nuñez said.
That brings the two-week total for UNM to 119 tests administered with two positive test results for COVID-19 — the earlier one belonging to an athlete.
The tests administered thus far have been primarily, though not exclusively, for football coaches, staff and players. Lobo football is scheduled to kick off its season at home Aug. 29 against Idaho State.
“As we continue to follow our own department and University guidelines as well as all state and city regulations, we remind everyone to wear a mask or face shield, and practice social distancing,” Nuñez said in a statement from UNM.
Before being allowed to resume limited summer workouts, all UNM athletes are required to undergo a 14-day self-quarantine period and pass both a physical and a COVID-19 test.
While having only two positive tests thus far is a positive sign relative to the high numbers on other campuses nationally, considering the close proximity of players and staff practicing and working together, even one carrier can quickly compromise a high number of those involved with a given sport.
New Mexico State University reported 20 positive tests this week, at least 26 over the past two weeks and has been forced to pause workouts that began more than a month ago.
“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,” NMSU athletic director Mario Moccia told the Las Cruces Sun-News this week. “I don’t know how sure you can be of anything. There is always a risk of a start and stop situation.”
Both UNM and NMSU have been consistent in their pledge to continue releasing test result numbers without identifying specifically who tests positive or what sport they play. Other universities around the country have not taken the same approach.