After UH football players spoke out saying they had not been tested for COVID-19 despite a news article confirming an ambiguous “clean bill of health,”, a UH spokesperson announced that all UH football players will be tested in the coming weeks after the NCAA released new guidance on Friday.
The new guidance requires the UH athletics department to conduct “surveillance testing” of the players over the next two weeks as well as weekly COVID-19 testing once the football training camp begins.
Head coach Todd Graham talked about the released NCAA guidelines in a non-traditional “Media Day” today and how UH is tackling the situation.
“Here the NCAA passed their guidelines last Thursday or Friday I believe and requires us to start testing our players as far as it's called surveillance testing for our players, and they require 30 to 50% of our players to be tested during training camp. We as a university, our team doctors and our administration wanted to make sure we tested everybody so in the next twelve days, the next two weeks we will be testing all of our players to get a baseline test and then progressing through the season,” Graham said.
Graham emphasized that the players’ safety are priority and that the administration is enforcing strict adherence of safety rules on their players.
“Obviously our number one focus everyday is their safety and their well being. I mean obviously that’s the first and foremost because this is one of the most unique times I’ve been associated with,” Graham said.
Graham confirmed that quarantine protocols are in place.
“Every player getting back here, they all had to quarantine and go through that 14 day quarantine. And then, obviously, every single day we are doing medical screening so they talk to their coach every single day which involves a lot of contact, a lot of calls and text messages and to make sure if anybody is not feeling well, then they would not come to practice and if anybody lives there if someone is not feeling well, we quarantine them as well,” Graham said.
Medical screening is also being conducted by medical staff daily involving temperature checks and forms.
“They fill out that medical form. They come, they get a medical screening everyday which involves a temperature check, they get a wristband to make sure they have been cleared by the medical staff. Obviously we are wearing masks anytime we’re inside, obviously when we’re outside we’re maintaining our social distancing,” Graham said.
Despite the pandemic, Graham says he looks forward to playing games in the coming season and that the team has been working hard despite the changes brought on by COVID-19.
“I like their no nonsense attitude, they come out and they work hard everyday. They want to be coached and with a lot of complexities around them, a lot of distractions so I’ve been very very pleased with them,” Graham said.
The Rainbow Warriors will begin their training camps in the coming weeks with high hopes for the fall season.