Press "Enter" to skip to content

UO hiding how many Duck athletes have tested positive so far

Last updated on 08/11/2020

8/11/2020 update:

UO still hasn’t responded to the July 2nd request from Bloomberg News, but they’ve finally told the Oregonian this:

“UO also said it “does not possess documents” regarding the number of positive COVID-19 test results for football players, coaches or team support staff, but that if they did, they too would be exempt from disclosure.

Which fits with previous reports I’ve heard that UO is attempting to maintain plausible deniability by keeping its testing records with the Lane County Health Authority. So all we know at the moment is somewhere between 0 and 43 Duck athletes have tested positive so far.

[Post heading changed to reflect strategic miscommunication from UO].

8/10/2020 updates II:

II.I: “The University of Oregon will no longer report new cases of COVID-19 in the UO community in the Updates. Information on new cases and total cases to date is always available on the UO Case page, which is updated immediately when cases are reported to the UO and confirmed by local health authorities”

II.II: Kevin Reed’s PRO still won’t tell the Oregonian how many athletes have tested positive. Maybe it was 9, maybe not:

II.III: Mario Cristobal has been claiming it’s zero, which presumably helps him recruit unpaid players.

8/10/2020 update: Sort of makes you wonder what else GC Reed and Pres Schill would hide:

More in the Oregonian here.

In other news UO has now started releasing just a bit more data on positive cases, here.

7/21/2020: UO PR flack Kay Jarvis caught lying about Covid secrecy

Ken Goe of the Oregonian has a long report on UO’s continued failure to report aggregate data on the characteristics of students who have tested positive, here, and the various excuses they’ve used – which he’s checked up on. Some snippets:

The University of Oregon’s refusal to reveal the number of on-campus Ducks athletes testing positive for the novel coronavirus is raising questions about the school’s transparency and willingness to protect the university community.

While some Pac-12 rivals, including Oregon State and Washington, have divulged an aggregate number of positive tests for athletes, Oregon and others have not. Oregon reports only a total number of students overall who test positive.

As articulated by UO spokeswoman Kay Jarvis, the university’s shifting rationales for this have ranged from contending the release of an aggregate number of athletes to test positive would violate “state and federal privacy laws” to saying the decision was made in consultation with the “local public authority.”

The first contention, according to an attorney familiar with such privacy laws, is false. As for the second, a Lane County health official said it is up to the university to determine what to release.

“There is no trust. Zero,” said Stephanie Prentiss, who represents Oregon’s classified employees as president of the school’s chapter of the Service Employees International Union.

Prentiss said university employees have been given conflicting information from administrators about athletes who have tested positive for the coronavirus and are being quarantined on campus.

She said workers cleaning areas on campus where infected people are being isolated are inadequately trained and equipped to do that job in the midst of the pandemic. The lack of transparency and specificity, she said, has led to uneasiness and fear among university workers.

The school has designated Jarvis, Oregon’s director of public affairs and issues management, to answer questions about this policy and has declined to make others available, including UO’s general counsel.

When first asked why Oregon was refusing to release the number of positive tests among its athletes, Jarvis responded in a June 23 email by saying she could not release that information because of state and federal privacy laws.

Attorney Gunita Singh, legal fellow with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, called that rationale “absurd. It’s a classic over application of privacy laws.”

On July 10, Jarvis wrote the school is consulting closely with Lane County Health & Human Services to slow the spread of the virus and in contact tracing.

“Again, the university is not the one determining the health benefit of information released,” she wrote. “We work with the local public health authority to determine when and how that information should be released, such as if there is an outbreak or when they are unable to use contact tracing to limit the spread.”

Jason Davis of Lane County Health & Human Services confirmed the university has cooperated fully with the county.

But, he said, Lane County Health does not have a position about what UO should disclose to the greater community unless there would be an instance when “five or more athletes start to get sick, and they all seem to be getting sick from the same source or reservoir. That needs to be addressed in public.”

Otherwise, Davis said, it’s up to the school to decide what it chooses to tell the community. …

Meanwhile, 19 days and UO GC Kevin Reed’s office still can’t figure out what to tell Bloomberg News:


  1. Environmental necessity 07/21/2020

    PR flack lies. In other news, water is still wet.

    • uomatters Post author | 07/21/2020

      Someday one of them will tell the truth – probably by mistake.

      • Bob Keefer 07/21/2020

        Give a million UO flacks a million typewriters and one might write Hamlet, too.

        • Fishwrapper 07/24/2020

          That’s an unkind comparison to monkeys. (For the monkeys, that is.) More like we see ’em write Dumb and Dumber…

  2. charlie 07/21/2020

    Just how desperate is the flagship’s financial situation they need to lie to this extent? Teenagers confabulation better than this. Just fire the PR/Marketing Depts, and give internships to local high school seniors. Believe me, they’d do a better job than what they’ve got now…

  3. Who is Responsible for the Truth? 07/22/2020

    “Colleges Are Getting Ready to Blame Their Students – As campuses reopen without adequate testing, universities fault young people for a lack of personal responsibility.” From the Atlantic, July 21, 2020.

    “[C]ollege campuses that are reopening for in-person instruction are banking on the personal responsibility of students to make it all work—and students are being set up to take the fall when the plans fail. ”

    “Universities have no business reopening if they can’t provide a healthy environment for students, faculty, and staff. Frequent testing and contact tracing are most crucial for safely reopening, but effective public-health messaging needs to support risk reduction for students. First, here’s what won’t work to stop the parties: berating the students who choose to host or attend them. Shaming people for their risky behaviors is not an effective public-health strategy and can be counterproductive. The more that students are castigated for having house parties or going to bars, the more reluctant they will be to disclose potentially stigmatizing information to contact tracers in the event of an outbreak.”

  4. Dog 08/10/2020

    we are worms and passing shadows
    bow down to the chosen

  5. Kevin Reed 08/10/2020

    Mr. Crepea misunderstands the documents he received. 9 is the total number of positive tests done at the University Health Center in June as reported in a public record Mr. Crepea requested and received. It is not the number of student athletes who tested positive. And I’m sorry if you think that following the university’s obligation to protect the privacy of students, even those who are athletes, is hiding something. Anyone who tests positive in our student body is contacted by a health care provider and, working with Lane County, contact tracers will work to identify all those who may have come in contact with that positive student. That is the method by which our health center works to protect our campus. And I hope you can understand why that is not a public process.

    • charlie 08/10/2020

      Uh huh….

    • uomatters Post author | 08/10/2020

      So it took your office 3 weeks to give the Oregonian the wrong numbers?

    • honest yokel nephew 08/10/2020

      Kevin, I read the Oregonian article. It sure doesn’t sound like what you say. Maybe the reporter just doesn’t understand. But if it turns out that you and UO are lying — er, dissembling — it will certainly not help the UO “reopening.” I hope for all of us that you and Mr. Schill are telling the truth and nothing but the truth. (I know damn well it probably ain’t the whole truth, my honest Uncle Bernie’s brother, Uncle Jack, who is a big-time Chicago attorney, told me so.)

  6. Townie 08/10/2020

    Cancel the season. Keep the community safe.

    If that is a no go how about we only play UW, WSU and OSU

  7. Dogmatic Ratios 08/11/2020

    Johnson Hall always makes the wrong decisions, literally on every issue, so why should they re-open safely? Contact-tracing? Voluntary testing? How does that protect anyone? Expect a completely unnecessary horror show. There are so many good options. Really, the simplest thing would be to provide housing to every student in the dorms for a quarantine, require them to test beforehand and afterwards, and then they can go to classes, but only socialize with others behind the cordon sanitaire. Why is this so hard?

    • Facts 08/11/2020

      “Why is this so hard?”

      Uh, because we can’t imprison students and they won’t all follow the guidelines.

      But glad you think it’s so simple.

      • Dog 08/11/2020

        “Why is this so hard?” (in America)

        • thedude 08/11/2020

          Uh check the rest of the world. Europe is starting their second wave right now.

          Viruses going virus. The only thing that ends up them is herd immunity (brought on by vaccines or natural immunity).

      • Dogmatic Ratios 08/11/2020

        Look up ‘prison’ in a dictionary. Students could leave anytime. But if they break quarantine or the cordon, they can’t go to classes, or use the facilities … until they go through quarantine again.

        • Facts 08/11/2020

          Yeah, that’s so simple. And completely unworkable.

          • Dogmatic Ratios 08/19/2020

            It would be helpful if you could indicate the difficulties you see.

  8. Cheyney Ryan 08/11/2020

    I live three blocks from Hayward Field, or whatever it’s called now. Oregon football players have been practicing on the field next to it. These have obviously been the sort of informal practices permitted now, but they have had equipment, supervision, etc.

    Only about half the players – – they are all lineman, by their appearance – –have worn facemasks. Of those wearing facemasks, only about half of them cover their noses. Their drills, given that they are lineman, entirely involve constant bodily contact. Pushing, shoving, etc.

    I watched this a while with my brother-in-law, who is from Washington and asked if this was even legal to do in Oregon. I don’t really know. The last time I walked by and saw this was some weeks ago.

    In any event, all the administration hosannas to athletes safety/student safety are bullshit in my opinion.

    • Essential Worker 08/11/2020

      What? U of Owe football players aren’t adhering to protocol all while they speak of unsafe conditions.


    • Dog 08/11/2020

      I am in my lab 2-3 days a week and walk mostly across campus to get there – mostly I have observed nothing but bullshit …

      but i did have to look up the word hosannas – for me, a dog, I thought it was kind of administrative banana

    • At your peril 08/11/2020

      There is a football training program being held there conducted by an outside firm. Was profiled on local news as helping students who want to walk on. So I don’t think that is UOAD. Same questions on safety exist though….

  9. Don't call me a duck 08/11/2020

    From a math test for university faculty courtesy of McSweeney’s
    7. As of late July, your University’s football team has returned to campus for training. Classes do not start for another few weeks, but there has already been an outbreak among athletes on your campus — as has been the case across the nation. The University sends an email in which the administration attempts to reassure you, letting you know that “(4.83%) tests administered returned positive results for COVID-19 — which closely aligns with the current average locally within [the] County [in which your university is located] for positive cases (4.15%) and is below the current State [in which your university is located] average (8%).” Calculate the football coach’s salary.

    8. Then look at your salary and ask yourself why you’re risking your life to participate in this death march.

  10. charlie 08/11/2020

    So, you think that students should go deeper into debt in order to pay full tuition to be told that they’ll be kicked out if they break rules? All for the privilege of not interacting normally with fellow students, profs, tutors, and assorted others. Will you guarantee a refund if one of the regs is violated?

    You seemed to have forgotten that the flagship touts a certain “life experience” as a marketing tool to lure highly impressionable, naive teenagers to pay multiple times more in out of state tuition than if they had attended a nearby Cal State campus. Now, that an essential element of that marketing scheme has been shelved for an indeterminate time, the uni has little to distinguish itself from the myriad other, far more affordable, alternatives. According to your thinking, the one thing they can count on is swift action on quarantine violations that result in no refunds, and a lot of debt for nothing.

    The life of the mind requires a certain amount of detachment. It doesn’t demand that you lose your god damn mind…

  11. Evan 08/18/2020

    They’re not legally required to disclose this medical information. It’s private and If it was me I would thank the univesity for respecting my legal medical privacy. You’re wrong on this Bill.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *