LAWRENCE — Kansas football has suspended voluntary workouts following a sharp increase in positive COVID-19 tests within the program.


The university on Friday announced that 12 members of its football team have tested positive for the virus, up 11 from the last update provided June 20. Four athletes from other sports have also tested positive with 45 athletes currently in quarantine.


KU’s football athletes and staff are being asked to self-quarantine for 14 days, according to a news release. At the conclusion of that time frame, everyone in the program will again be tested to determine if team activities may resume.


"When we welcomed our young men back to campus a couple of weeks ago for voluntary workouts, even with the policies and procedures in place to try and protect them from becoming infected with the virus, events outside of our control has made the decision to pause these workouts necessary," said KU football coach Les Miles. "Our trainers and doctors will remain in daily contact with each of the student-athletes that tested positive to support them and what we hope will involve only minor symptoms if any. We will follow medical recommendations on returning to activities."


The athletic department has tested a total of 164 athletes since players returned to campus for voluntary workouts, which are ongoing for all other sports. The decision to pause those activities in football, athletic director Jeff Long said, came at the recommendation of Kansas Team Health.


"Our priority remains to keep our student-athletes safe and healthy, especially during this pandemic, and will follow the recommendations of our medical professionals," Long said. "We will only resume our preparations after the 14-day quarantine is complete and our student-athletes and staff have been tested for the virus prior to participating in football activities. In the meantime, we continue to educate our student-athletes, as well as coaches and staff, on the importance of following the policies and procedures and recommendations from our Kansas Team Health physicians and the CDC."


The Jayhawks are scheduled to open their season Sept. 5 against New Hampshire at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.