Kansas Football COVID-19 Testing and Results Update


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LAWRENCE, Kan. – Prior to our student-athletes returning to participate in voluntary activities, Kansas Athletics has been guided by the medical professionals at Kansas Team Health who have created policies and procedures to be properly prepared for the return of the football student-athletes. The plan created by Kansas Team Health requires COVID-19 testing of student-athletes and staff as well as detailed daily procedures to maintain proper compliance with health and safety guidelines. The detailed document can be found by clicking here. 

As of today, 86 football student-athletes received the nasopharyngeal swab and antibody blood tests, and 110 staff members (includes coaches and support staff) received the nasopharyngeal swab test. Of the 86 student-athletes tested, one student athlete tested positive for COVID-19 and another student-athlete tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies. The student-athlete with the positive COVID-19 test had shown no symptoms prior to returning the Lawrence community for voluntary football activities. This individual is self-isolating and is being monitored frequently by medical professionals.

The student-athlete whose test result was positive for antibodies was unaware of previously contracting COVID-19. As detailed in the policies linked above, any student-athlete with a positive antibody test will receive additional evaluation by medical professionals.

Similar testing procedures will apply to all returning student-athletes from other teams. All activities will be closely monitored by the physicians, athletic trainers and strength and conditioning staffs within Kansas Team Health and will follow a stringent set of health and safety guidelines.

Statement from Director of Athletics Jeff Long
“The health, safety and well-being of our student-athletes remains the highest priority in our athletics department. As our student-athletes choose to return at various dates in the coming weeks for voluntary activities, it is our priority to them, as well as their families, to ensure their health is appropriately cared for even more so now during this pandemic. 

“Our staff and doctors have been prepared for the inevitable situation where a student-athlete received a positive COVID-19 test and immediately followed the plans and policies prepared by Kansas Team Health. Our student-athlete is being cared for and provided necessary items should he develop symptoms.

“The partnership with Kansas Team Health has been a tremendous asset since it was formed a year ago, but as we’ve all navigated this uncharted territory together, the medical advice and recommendations from their team of experts has been a tremendous benefit for our student-athletes, coaches and staff. 

“While we can be almost certain there will be additional positive tests, we are committed to properly handling each individual with the highest medical care and doing our part to mitigate the spread.”

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Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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