The Latest: 32 positive virus tests for Superdome workers

Sports

FILE – In this Nov. 17, 2012, file photo, an Arizona State fan is all alone in the upper deck during an NCAA college football game against Washington State, in Tempe, Ariz. As lock-downs are lifted, restrictions on social gatherings eased and life begins to resemble some sense, sports are finally starting to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic. Many college and pro sports teams already were dealing with declining ticket sales. The improved at-home experience, the emergence of wide-spread legalized betting and the changing social makeup of fan bases have been catalysts, while dynamic pricing, increases in parking and concession prices and a push toward luxury seating have exacerbated the problem.(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:

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Superdome officials say positive COVID-19 tests have come back for 32 of 275 workers contracted to perform stadium renovations.

A statement released by the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District on Tuesday says affected workers have been “isolated away from the job site.”

“This post-Memorial Day increase is consistent with what 21 other states, not including Louisiana, are experiencing at this stage of the pandemic as more restrictions have been lifted for travel, shopping, and work,” the Superdome statement said.

Workers with positive tests will be required to complete a protocol compliant with Centers for Disease Control guidelines and document to general contractor Broadmoor LLC that they have had a negative test result before being permitted back at the job site, Superdome officials said. Remaining workers now are also under stricter rules including the required use of masks.

The state-owned Superdome currently is undergoing $450 million in renovations that have been deemed “essential” by Gov. John Bel Edwards. The dome is slated to host the NCAA men’s basketball Final Four in 2022 and the Super Bowl in 2024. The work includes the replacement of original ramps with new stairs, escalators and elevators; more spacious concourses; and new concession areas and bathrooms.

Work has proceeded uninterrupted since the new coronavirus pandemic spread to the United States earlier this year.

Superdome officials say they and Broadmoor have made sure workers have access to personal protective equipment and hand-washing stations. Officials also say work spaces have been sanitized daily and that Broadmoor has implemented staggered work and break times to promote social distancing.

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Kansas State confirmed Tuesday that two student-athletes have tested positive for COVID-19 out of approximately 120 who have undergone testing.

According to school protocol, each athlete will have to self-isolate for 10 days or be without fever for 72 hours without medication, whichever takes longer. The guidelines also include quarantine for anybody known to have been in contact with someone who tested positive.

The athletic department’s new return-to-campus policy includes a recommended week-long, stay-at-home period prior to returning and quarantine upon arrival prior to testing. Student-athletes are not allowed inside any department facilities and can’t participate in any voluntary or required team activities until a negative test result is received.

Although the university did not disclose what sports the student-athletes play, Athletics Director Gene Taylor said a small number of positive tests was anticipated based on what has happened across college football.

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Kentucky has moved its football season opener against Eastern Michigan ahead two days to Sept. 3, avoiding a conflict with the rescheduled 146th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.

The Derby was postponed from May 2 to Sept. 5 because of COVID-19 concerns, the first time since 1945 it didn’t run on the first Saturday in May.

Kentucky will play its eighth Thursday night game in modern times and first since hosting Auburn on Oct. 15, 2015.

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Kentucky has screened football players for COVID-19 but so far hasn’t specified how many of the 90 players back have been cleared to practice.

Vanderbilt athletics is currently in the first stage of its return and football is the only sport back on campus. The team may conduct voluntary workouts this month, and activities will increase during the summer as long as university guidelines allow. The school’s plan says football is aiming to begin preseason practice in early August.

Both SEC schools were allowed to begin a phased return of student-athletes last week and both are planning to start fall semester in August.

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The College Football Hall of Fame in downtown Atlanta plans to reopen July 1 with a new exhibit featuring historically black colleges and universities.

The museum closed in mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic. The reopening was delayed after the facility sustained damage in riots that erupted the night of May 29 over the death of George Floyd. The glass facade was shattered and merchandise was stolen from the street-front gift shop, but no exhibits or artifacts were damaged.

The new HBCU exhibit will focus on their history, traditions and Hall of Fame players and coaches. There will also be a special section dedicated to Georgia’s HBCUs, the Celebration Bowl and kick-off games between the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and Southwestern Athletic Conference. The museum is also planning a second exhibit that will open next year during black history month.

The hall of fame also plans new safety protocols in accordance with state and federal guidelines, including rigorous cleaning procedures, temperature checks for staff and guests, masks and additional hand sanitizing station throughout the museum.

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says he will not hold Kyle Walker’s lockdown indiscretions against him when the Premier League resumes on Wednesday.

Walker apologized for hosting a party at his home during the 100-day shutdown of the league because of the coronavirus outbreak. The England right back also said he was being “harassed” after acknowledging in a statement he breached lockdown rules to visit members of his family.

Guardiola was asked if Walker’s actions affected his chances of being selected against Arsenal on the first day of the Premier League’s resumption. He says “I judge my players on what happen on the pitch.”

Guardiola says Walker made a “brave statement” about the effect the lockdown had on him and his family and adds “the human being always goes first before the football player.”

Guardiola says there is no chance his players would be fully fit after only three weeks of training ahead of the restart and is worried about the risk of injuries.

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Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone says an antibody test revealed he had COVID-19.

Malone says in an interview with CBS4 in Denver he wasn’t feeling well shortly after the season was suspended March 11. He reached out to the team’s medical staff to be tested but no tests were available at the time. Malone says he had an antibody test around Memorial Day weekend.

Malone says the team doctor called up and said “you tested positive.”

Malone adds that he likes to say “I got coronavirus and I kicked its butt.”

His squad was in third place in the Western Conference when the season was halted. The league is working on completing the health and safety protocols for a restart at the Disney campus near Orlando, Florida.

Malone says “I hope that going down to Orlando will be in a safe environment and we can limit the amount of people that actually get it.”

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The Russian anti-doping agency says it is resuming the testing of athletes after a break of nearly three months because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The agency says its staff has been equipped with protective equipment and will have to test negative for the virus before working with any athletes.

It has also offered athletes advice on how to register their status if they have to isolate themselves because they have been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

The agency initially suspended testing on March 27 for one week but that was extended because of Russian government measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

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