TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Ninety Kansas State University football players were tested last week for coronavirus at Lafene Health Center.
Each player received both the common nasal test and a blood test for coronavirus antibodies. K-State Athletics paid for the tests that were administered at the student health center.
“Our student athletes are students. So they organized it and we went through their process,” Matt Thomason, the director of sports medicine for K-State Athletics, said.
Other students at the school have to show symptoms to get a test at Lafene, but health officials said the athletes are an exception.
“Because of how much time they spend close to one another, there’s a higher risk of getting the disease from one another, and so that’s ultimately why we’re testing the student-athletes to try and identify those who are positive, pull them out of that population before they were to spread it around and that gets spread to the rest of the community,” medical director Kyle Goerl said.
He said health centers are not to a point where they can give tests to every person that wants one.
“We haven’t just gone carte blanche on if you wanted tested you’re going to get tested, you need to have a pretty compelling reason for that,” Goerl said. “We still need to be somewhat judicious, we can’t just start being willy-nilly about what tests we can give out, we are not at that point yet nationally.”
None of the players tested positive for coronavirus, but one did have the coronavirus antibodies in his system.
Now players are being told to practice safe measures during the crisis.
“We’re encouraging everyone to stay here if they’re going to come do voluntary workouts and utilize our facilities, but if they do choose, or if they need to go somewhere out of town, we’ll handle those on a case by case basis,” Thomason said.
Other sports will start coming back to the campus for workouts in July. The plan is to test each athlete before they start activities.
Goerl also said they would consider expanding testing to other people in large groups who are in close contact with each other.