Coaches and players are being warned by tournament officials to take extra precautions after at least nine people have fallen ill at the NCAA women’s regional in Austin, Texas.
On Tuesday morning, the University of Texas director of events instructed coaches to have their players wash their hands and use hand sanitizer regularly. Staff members cleaned all of the spigots of the water coolers and ice chests, and housekeeping services at the team hotel sanitized all of the rooms.
But by then, the mysterious virus had already taken a toll.
East Carolina was disqualified from advancing to the NCAA Championship on Tuesday after only two players were healthy enough to compete.
Golfweek reported that Arkansas’ fifth player, Cara Gorlei, was flanked by her coach and trainer throughout her round of 3-over 75. Her teammates picked up the slack, with the Razorbacks posting the low round of the day, a 17-under 271, to move 11 shots clear of the field.
Baylor coach Jay Goble said that his assistant coach also got the stomach bug and was unable to make it to the course for the second round.
The reason for the outbreak is unclear, but over the past few weeks the norovirus recently affected more than a hundred people in the area.
The NCAA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The top six teams after Wednesday’s final round advance to the NCAA Championship in two weeks in Stillwater, Okla. It’s a tight race in the regional, as top-seeded Arkansas and host Texas are the only teams under par. The next six teams are separated by five shots.