Illinois official explains decision to stay quiet on COVID-19 test results
A lot of schools and athletic departments across the country have made the decision to report results of the COVID-19 tests that have been conducted on campus. In an uncertain time, it’s been a way to keep the public informed on the happenings on specific campuses.
Still some departments have opted against reporting the numbers. Illinois is one of the schools that has decided against making that information public, along with fellow B1G member Ohio State. But it’s not just an arbitrary decision to withhold that information from the public.
Illinois associate athletic director of sports medicine recently revealed to Illini Inquirer’s Jeremy Werner why the department is not releasing the information.
“You can’t take pictures of a patient getting a medical exam, for example, and put that in the newspaper on the internet,” Ballard said. “But, for me, most importantly, I feel a tremendous responsibility for looking out for young people’s physical and mental health.
“And knowing that we all want to know what’s going on with athletes, be it pro or collegiate athletes, I think it’s really important that our young people know that there’s not someone out there that heard if we had a basketball positive that’s going to start contacting them on social media and saying, ‘Is it you?’ or ‘What’s going on?’ or ‘Who’s positive?’ or all these things. I think this is a difficult enough situation as it is for all of us, but especially for 18- to 22-year-old young adults. We really tried to kind of insulate them the best that we can and really look out for them and their well being and their mental health.”
That reasoning is similar to Ohio State’s approach. The OSU athletic department also wanted to protect student-athlete privacy during this process, but caught plenty of heat after the Buckeyes shut down voluntary workouts out of caution.
Ohio State has since been approved to resume those workouts.