Scott Stricklin was being careful but he woke up one morning feeling less than great and when his symptoms persisted he went to get tested for coronavirus. The results came back positive.
Stricklin’s symptoms were mild and thanks to the University of Florida’s proximity to and relationship with UF Health and Shands Hospital he was able to get tested quickly.
“I started feeling badly one night, it was a runny nose – it was pretty mild symptoms – congestion, runny nose, a little headache. Woke up the next morning, didn’t feel much better – slight chills. And it just, the first thing in this day and age that goes through you head is, ‘I wonder if this is it?’ Called up one of our doctors and they had me tested and I found out sometime the next day,” Stricklin told reporters on a Zoom conference call Tuesday. “I had about 48 hours where I felt really crummy and probably had another three or four days where I didn’t feel like going out and running a marathon. Then after that, I felt like I was back to normal. But I haven’t run any marathons since, but I have run since.”
Stricklin insists that he took the virus seriously. He took precautions including wearing a facemask, practicing physical distancing and the reason for sharing his past diagnosis was to show how transmittable the virus truly is.
Stricklin reported that the UAA has administered 238 tests (dating back to April) and have had 29 positive tests among all sports. Florida has slowly brought student-athletes back to campus over the last six weeks and in that time they have tested 188 student-athletes, with only three positive tests. That .02% positive rate is well below the average in the state of Florida.
“We’ve had a pretty robust screening and testing program and we’ve found some positives,” Stricklin said. “We’ve advanced from March to June as far as how we manage that and how we look at that. One of the things it’s taught us is we do have a way to care for them and provide for athletes while they’re here if they happen to test positive. The other thing, though, is it’s really pointed out what a lot of the challenges are going to be related to quarantining. Quarantining healthy people who have had exposure to those who have tested positive, and how widespread that’s going to be.”
The general sentiment that Stricklin tried to convey on Tuesday’s conference call was one of protecting the student-athletes. Stricklin wants there to be sports as much if not more than the next person, but it’s his job to ensure the safety of the hundreds of student-athletes at his university and their well-being takes precedence.
“We need to find a path that allows our athletes a safe environment to compete.”