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14 UK athletes test positive for COVID-19

The latest COVID-19 results have revealed that 14 of Kentucky’s 402 student-athletes tested positive during a round of testing conducted Aug. 20-Sept. 2.

In addition to the 14 who tested positive for the virus, seven of 306 staff members also tested positive.

A total of 34 student-athletes who returned to campus received antibody testing and one was a positive result for a past infection.

Kentucky football coach Mark Stoops had to scale down portions of last weekend’s scrimmage because of nagging injuries and coronavirus concerns.

“We’re thin at certain positions and we did have to look at that and alter some of the scrimmage (Saturday),” he said. ‘“… We’re getting thin at a few spots and positions with injuries and COVID-19. Everything is still manageable at this point and time. But it does get you a touch thin when you’re going with three and four groups and getting into a heavy scrimmage.”

Kentucky opens the season on Sept. 26 at Auburn and the Tigers practiced without five starters and 10 players on Saturday after two football student-athletes tested positive and others were in close contact with an infected individual.

“That’s the issue that everybody’s dealing with,” Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. “We’ve really educated our guys. They’ve done a very good job. Every time we’ve challenged them with something, they’ve done it. I expect them to continue to do that. … The teams that can adjust and not get distracted or get discouraged and just say next man up, those are the teams that are going to have an advantage.”

Stoops said he would like to see the number of cases down to zero if at all possible.

“We want to continue to work to try to get them at zero. Obviously, they’re making some sacrifices and doing some good things. Is it a challenge? Absolutely. These are young men and young people that are in college. They’re exposed to a lot. We all know this can happen to anybody. You can get it grabbing a coffee or grabbing some food or going to the grocery store. We just want to continue to be diligent and continue to take the steps necessary to keep us all safe.”

Keith Taylor is sports editor for Kentucky Today. Reach him at keith.taylor@kentuckytoday.com or twitter @keithtaylor21.