DePaul student-athlete tests positive for Covid-19, team pauses activities

DePaul+head+coach+Dave+Leitao+paces+the+sidelines+against+Creighton+on+Wednesday+at+Wintrust+Arena.+

Alexa Sandler | The DePaulia

DePaul head coach Dave Leitao paces the sidelines against Creighton on Wednesday at Wintrust Arena.

A DePaul men’s basketball player has tested positive for Covid-19, a source told The DePaulia Monday night. 

The Blue Demons have also paused all team activities for the remainder of this week and have postponed games against Providence on Dec. 17 and Butler on Dec. 21.

“As we continue to monitor COVID-19 testing and follow all university and conference protocols on contact tracing, the safety of our players, coaches and staff continues to be of upmost importance,” DePaul athletic director DeWayne Peevy said in a statement. “DePaul Athletics has rigorous testing protocols in place that were designed by our medical staff and the DePaul Community Health team in consultation with guidelines set forth by the CDC and Chicago Department of Public Health. These protocols are continually updated to meet the changing nature of the virus in consultation with the BIG EAST Conference’s medical team. Both our men’s and women’s basketball programs understand the importance of health and safety during this pandemic.”

The Blue Demons have already had to pause two different times this season because of Covid-19 protocols, with the team’s first seven games being canceled or postponed. The team went on pause for the first time on Nov. 19 and had to cancel and postpone the first four games of the season.

Last week, DePaul was supposed to play Iowa State but the game was canceled an hour before tipoff because of Covid-19 protocols in the Blue Demons’ program. Two days later, the team paused all activities for the remainder of the week and had to postpone games against Xavier and Villanova. 

But according to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports, DePaul returned to practice on Sunday.

The Blue Demons are next scheduled to play UConn on Dec. 23 before taking a week off for Christmas.

The Big East released the remainder of its men’s basketball schedule on Monday, which included DePaul playing eight games in January and only four games in February. But it’s possible that the team will make up the previously lost Big East games in February with the conference adding in enough time in the month to play those games.

“We will continue to test both during and after any quarantine periods and the latest test results we have received show these protocols are working,” Peevy said. “Accordingly, the men’s basketball season will continue to remain on pause under guidance from our medical staff, as previously announced last week. This season has already proven to be one of starts and stops across the country. Right now, we are in the painful ‘stop’ phase. I want to thank our fans for their flexibility and patience, our players and coaches for remaining committed to the season ahead, and our medical team for their tireless efforts. Adversity is toughest in the midst of the storm, but I look forward to coming out the other side with a stronger and more resilient team.”