Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said on Tuesday his goal is to return to the football building on May 1 because he hopes that in three or four weeks, tests for COVID-19, a strain of the coronavirus, will be available to clear both employees and players to return.
“How fast that can happen based on the tests that are available, I can’t say right now, but that’s the plan,” Gundy told over a dozen reporters on a teleconference. “We have to have a plan, and the plan right now is for them to start on May 1. It might get backed up two weeks. I don’t know, I can’t make that call, but if it does, we’ll start with the employees of this company, the ones that come in this building. Then we’ll bring the players in, and slowly but surely we’ll test them all in.”
In what was roughly a 20-minute opening statement, Gundy talked about the national and state response to what he called “the Chinese virus.” COVID-19 has shut down sports across the globe, and college football currently has no date to return to practice. Gundy, who has been working remotely from his home and spending time on his farm, said that if somebody were to test positive when they had gone back to work, they would be quarantined “just like we do people that get the flu.”
“We get people that get the flu during the season, we quarantine them, we treat them, we make sure they’re healthy, we bring ’em back,” Gundy said. “It would be the same thing here, but at some point, we’ve got to go back to work. We’ve got to get these guys back in here. … From what I read, the healthy people can fight this, the antibodies make it better. They’re doing some blood transplants now with the people that have already gotten the disease that have gotten over it that have the antibodies that can fight it. There’s a lot of people who can figure this out. May 1’s our goal. Don’t know if it will happen, players will come in after that.”
Gundy said there could be people who work in the football building who are older, “maybe have some type of underlying condition.”
“Maybe they don’t come back,” he said, “but the majority of people in this building who are healthy … and certainly the 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 year olds that are healthy, the so-called medical people saying the herd of healthy people that have the antibodies maybe built up and can fight this? We all need to go back to work.”
“I’m not taking away from the danger of people getting sick,” he said. “You have the virus, stay healthy, try to do what we can to help people that are sick, and we’re losing lives which is just terrible. The second part of it is that we still have to schedule and continue to move forward as life goes on and help those people.”