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Iowa athletics provides improved coronavirus numbers; zero new positives in football, per source

Chad Leistikow
Hawk Central

Iowa football players have been internally discussing a need to tighten their inner circles, now that there’s a Big Ten Conference season on the near horizon again.

And Monday’s university-reported numbers on coronavirus testing should provide more confidence that they’re on a good track and more motivation to hang out only with each other.

Iowa athletics reported just seven positive coronavirus tests out of 743 taken for the week of Sept. 14-20. That marks a 0.9% positivity rate, a sharp decline from previous spikes.

Iowa coaches have been masked up at early practices since the Big Ten approved a season to begin Oct. 24. Here, Kirk Ferentz is shown at a July 16 news conference.

Furthermore, the entire football program was tested Friday, and there were zero new positive test results, a source with direct knowledge of the information told the Register. Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz did say Thursday there were still some players in quarantine.

The Register reported that Iowa had 11 positive tests in football among the 93 department-wide on the week of Aug. 24-30, a period that saw an 11.9% positive rate and caused the university to pause athletics workouts for more than a week.

Subsequent weeks saw Iowa athletics report 21 positive tests at a 7.1% rate (Aug. 31-Sept. 6) and 24 positives at a 3.5% rate (Sept. 7-13). In light of that, Monday’s data was a significant step in the right direction.

Even more encouraging, football will have access to daily antigen testing soon, by Sept. 30 at the latest. If the program enters that phase with zero positive cases, that’d be a great sign heading into full-contact practices. Iowa began practicing Friday ahead of its scheduled opener at Purdue on Oct. 24.