Texas coach Shaka Smart in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19

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Ryan Young
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Texas head coach Shaka Smart
Texas head coach Shaka Smart has tested positive for the coronavirus. (AP/Chuck Burton)

Texas coach Shaka Smart announced on Monday that he has tested positive for COVID-19.

Smart said he is now in isolation and working remotely, though it’s not clear if he is experiencing symptoms.

“I tested positive for COVID and am in isolation away from our team and my family,” Smart said in a statement on Twitter. “I am working remotely and look forward to rejoining our team in person when it is safe to do so.”

No. 5 Texas is set to take on Oklahoma on Tuesday before traveling to Kentucky on Saturday — though it’s unknown whether those games will still take place after Smart’s positive test. Longhorns associate head coach K.T. Turner will presumably take over in Smart’s absence, though no official announcement has been made.

The Longhorns, who are 11-2 overall, had their games against both Iowa State and TCU postponed last week — though both instances were due to coronavirus issues in the opposing programs.

Smart, Texas latest to be hit by COVID-19

Smart is just the latest coach in college basketball to contract the coronavirus, joining Michigan State’s Tom Izzo, Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim, TCU’s Jamie Dixon, Nebraska’s Fred Hoiberg and Baylor’s Scott Drew, among others. South Carolina coach Frank Martin announced earlier this month that he had contracted the coronavirus for a second time, too.

Several programs were forced to either pause team activities or postpone games this month due to outbreaks, including Georgetown, Oregon, Iowa State, Oklahoma State, West Virginia and Michigan State.

The country is averaging more than 170,000 new cases a day over the past week, according to The New York Times, which is significantly down from the nearly 260,000 cases a day that were being recorded at the beginning of the month. The death rate, however, is still at near-record highs. The country is averaging more than 3,000 deaths a day and surpassed more than 4,000 in a single day twice last week.

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