Missouri athletics never expected to be completely immune from the coronavirus.
Facing the inevitability that at least some within its population of student-athletes, coaches and staff could be infected with the disease upon their return this month or contract the virus while on campus, the athletic department developed a protocol detailing steps to be followed in the event of positive cases.
Over the past three weeks, that plan has been put into action as five individuals within department have been announced as having COVID-19 out of more than 300 tested.
The protocol, which the Tribune obtained Friday afternoon, includes actions to be taken immediately upon diagnosis and also framework for the recovery required for infected athletes to be integrated into team activities.
Football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball players returned to campus for voluntary workouts June 8, the first day allowed by the Southeastern Conference. The athletic department’s phased return of activities continued with the remaining fall and winter sports over the past two weeks.
Nine sports are now back on campus, with spring teams expected back July 6.
All athletes are being tested for COVID-19 before participating in workouts for the first time, a pivot from the school’s original plan to test only those who exhibit symptoms of the virus, which has killed more than 125,000 Americans and infected more than 20,000 Missourians as of Saturday.