ECU announces resumption of football workouts

The Pirates suspended athletic activities, including football practice, last week after an abundance of positive COVID-19 tests among their athletes, coaches and staff

The North State Journal—The North State Journal
ECU players enter the field before a game at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium

East Carolina has announced that athletic activities, including football practice, will resume on Wednesday.

The decision was made after a second round of COVID-19 testing was conducted among the school’s athletes, coaches and staff taking part in on-campus workouts.

On Monday, the ECU athletics department tested 104 individuals with only three confirmed positive tests.

The news comes one week after the Pirates became the second state FBS school, joining North Carolina, to suspend athletic activities because of a reported coronavirus cluster. ECU’s first round of testing reported 27 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among 452 tests performed on athletes, coaches and staff.

“The health and safety of our student-athletes is our top priority and today’s decision comes in consultation with our medical staff,” athletic director Jon Gilbert said in announcing the suspension of workouts last week. “Twenty-seven positive tests have been confirmed and five of the 27 have recovered.”

Those who test positive for COVID-19 are required to self-isolate and receive daily monitoring from ECU Athletics medical staff.

Despite the temporary shutdown, Gilbert has said he is “cautiously certain” that the Pirates’ scheduled season-opening football game against Marshall will be played as scheduled on Aug. 29.