South Florida has halted football activities after playing Notre Dame on Saturday.
Notre Dame postponed its upcoming game against Wake Forest on Tuesday after a COVID-19 outbreak among the team. The school said that seven players had tested positive for coronavirus and had suspended its football activities. That put the game against the Demon Deacons in peril.
With health officials believing that Notre Dame players could have been contagious during the Fighting Irish’s game against South Florida, the Bulls are also pausing their activities to make sure that none of their players contracted COVID-19.
“After learning of an outbreak of positive tests results for the novel coronavirus at our previous opponent and a subsequent review of the video from last Saturday’s game for the purpose of contact tracing, USF football is pausing all on-field activities pending the results from our second scheduled weekly team testing conducted Wednesday morning,” the school said in a statement.
“Our team was testing twice last Friday in accordance with AAC and ACC protocols prior to Saturday’s game at Notre Dame and was tested again on Monday with each test producing all negative results for the virus. However, out of an abundance of caution and with a focus on the health and safety of our student-athletes and staff, we feel it is prudent to pause on-field activity until we have the results of further testing.”
10 Notre Dame players missed Saturday’s game
Ten Notre Dame players were absent for the team’s win over USF because of the coronavirus. Four had tested positive while six others were in quarantine. All of the players available for the game had tested negative on Friday.
St. Joseph County Health Department Dr. Mark Fox said Tuesday afternoon that since the players who had tested positive for coronavirus on Monday were negative on Friday that it was possible they were contagious while on the field over the weekend.
Dr. Fox says all seven players who tested positive Monday, tested negative this past Friday. He says it’s unlikely they were exposed on Saturday or Sunday because their viral load wouldn’t be high enough to register. Therefore, all the players likely had the virus during the game against the University of South Florida.
“There hasn’t been good data to suggest transmission from in-game activities,” he said. “It sure is theoretically possible.”
USF’s suspension of workouts is the first known suspension of workouts solely due to the potentiality of in-game transmission of COVID-19. And if the suspension lasts longer than a day or so, the team’s game against Florida Atlantic on Saturday could be in jeopardy. FAU’s game against Georgia Southern in Week 3 was suspended because of positive coronavirus tests and contact tracing.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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