Just two days ago, East Carolina University Athletic Director Jon Gilbert and his department paused all on-campus athletic activities over concerns stemming from the spread of COVID-19. In an accompanying press release, Gilbert said 27 positive tests had been identified in 452 total tests conducted.

Five of those individuals who tested positive have fully recovered as of Tuesday afternoon, leaving the department with 22 active cases and a positive test rate of just below 6%.

With the shutdown, ECU joined a growing list of other athletic programs that have been forced to take similar action. In a select few cases, those departments have opened back up quickly, something ECU hopes to follow in doing.

On Thursday, WITN’s Tyler Feldman reported ECU could unfreeze on-campus athletic activities as early as next Wednesday, July 22. The information stemmed from a conversation Feldman had with head women’s basketball coach Kim McNeill.

“Hopefully Wednesday,” McNeill told Feldman. “We have our fingers crossed. Everybody is going to be re-tested on Monday. It normally takes about 24-36 hours for the results to come back.”

Friday would have marked the first day ECU’s football team could participate in walk-throughs with a football under the NCAA’s updated preseason model. The Pirates’ basketball team’s would have also likely begun workouts this coming Monday, but both of those events will presumably be pushed back.

If this timeline holds for ECU resuming athletic activities, however, it seemingly would not take too big of a chuck out of the Pirates’ preparations for their Aug. 29 matchup with Marshall in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. That would still leave Mike Houston and his staff one week to conduct strength and conditioning workouts as well as the aforementioned walk-throughs before formal team camp starts at the end of July.

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