ECU has paused all football related activities indefinitely after identifying positive COVID-19 cases in its latest round of testing. According to an email sent out by ECU Alert on Thursday afternoon, 10 positives have been identified among personnel associated with the football program. The Pirates will not practice today and will not participate in their previously scheduled scrimmage on Friday.

“Today’s decision to pause all football activities comes in consultation with our medical staff after reviewing our latest test results,” ECU Athletic Director Jon Gilbert said in a release. “We will continue to monitor all of our student-athletes on campus and take all the necessary actions to follow all safety protocols established at the local, state and national level.”

This represents the second time ECU has been forced to pause football-related activities due to the pandemic, and the first time since mid-July. That shutdown lasted one week, and up until this point, the Pirates had been largely successful in keeping the virus out of their locker room.

With the news, ECU joins a growing list of schools in North Carolina that have had to take action in response to rising COVID-19 numbers. Earlier this week, both UNC and NC State elected to move undergraduate classes online, with the Tar Heels temporarily suspending athletic activities until at least 5 p.m. today. The Wolfpack will continue to hold practices and workouts on campus despite the shift in course delivery.

The Pirates got in two and a half weeks of practice and two intrasquad scrimmages before electing to pause activities. Last week it was announced that ECU’s season-opener against Marshall would be pushed back from Aug. 29 to Sept. 12, giving the Pirates two extra weeks to prepare.

That means ECU is scheduled to kick-off their 2020 season just 23 days from now. What role, if any, this pause will play in determining whether that contest occurs on time remains to be seen.

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