Helmet at K-State Spring Game

Four K-State football players have tested positive for the coronavirus, one of the highest number of infections among college football programs in the country.

Editor’s note: This story has been corrected from an earlier version. A city health official told The Mercury the wrong number of cases Wednesday morning.

Four Kansas State football players have tested positive for the coronavirus.

The athletics department announced on Tuesday afternoon that two student-athletes had tested posted for COVID-19. The Mercury learned Wednesday morning that two more had contracted the virus, a source confirmed.

Officials said that of 10 new cases in Riley County since Monday, four are K-State football players.

Vivienne Uccello, public information officer for the Manhattan city government, said officials believe the athletes contracted the coronavirus in other states and brought it to Manhattan with them. Neither the city nor K-State would say whether the players were symptomatic.

Football players returned to campus June 1 and immediately went into a week of quarantine. The Wildcats started voluntary summer workouts Monday, which is when Big 12 teams were allowed to start.

“We will always keep our focus on the health and well-being of our student-athletes and staff,” K-State athletics director Gene Taylor said in a statement Tuesday before the additional cases. “A small number of positive tests was something that we were anticipating based on what we are seeing from across college football, and our medical staff and coaching staffs are well prepared for the next steps. While we know this is a very fluid situation, we have a great plan in place and all of our student-athletes have done their part in following the correct procedures to return to campus.”

It is not yet known whether the two new cases had been in contact with the two positive tests K-State Athletics announced Tuesday.

On Thursday, K-State announced that 90 student-athletes had undergone testing for the coronavirus, and all 90 came back negative. While the announcement noted one student-athlete had tested positive for COVID-19 with antibody testing, it stated the case no longer was active.

K-State has had 120 football players return to campus and undergo testing through Tuesday afternoon.

According to a report from GoPowercat.com, one of the two student-athletes K-State confirmed tested positive had worked out off-campus with other members of the football team prior to learning the result of his test. GoPowercat.com reports that 10 football players are now quarantined after being exposed to one of the active carriers of COVID-19. The contact-traced quarantine for the 10 players would last for up to 14 days. The only contact they would be allowed to have during that two-week period is with the nine other members of the quarantined group.

Student-athletes are not permitted inside any athletics department facilities, nor can they participate in any voluntary or required team activities until they have received a negative test result.

Mercury reporter Hailey Dixon contributed to this report.

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