Cal football has registered its first positive COVID-19 test since the Pac-12 formally returned to play and began testing in October.
The student-athlete, who has yet to be named, took an antigen test, which came back positive and was confirmed by a later PCR test, which was also positive. In a statement on Twitter, the program indicated that several student-athletes have been quarantined, and the recommendations of University Health Services and the city public health department are being followed.
Contact tracing is taking place, though the student-athlete is reportedly asymptomatic. This positive test comes as the blue and gold prepare to host Washington on Saturday for their first game of the 2020 season.
“(Head coach Justin) Wilcox informed us right before our meetings, and then we went out to practice. Team morale is still high; game plan is still intact,” said quarterback Chase Garbers in a press conference after the news was made public. “If we can play on Saturday, we’ll be ready.”
Should more positive COVID-19 cases emerge, it is possible that Cal’s opener against the Huskies this weekend will be canceled or postponed.
“We knew that we were going to face this kind of adversity with the virus and the way that it spreads, so we’re just trying to keep a positive outlook and looking forward to hopefully playing this Saturday,” said inside linebacker and team captain Kuony Deng during the press conference. “We’re just going to continue to prepare.”
Until more is known about the degree of the outbreak and the student-athletes affected, however, it is difficult to determine the impact of this positive test. The Bears could still proceed as planned this week. According to Pac-12 guidelines, games can be canceled because of an “inability to isolate new positive cases within a team or athletic department or to quarantine high-risk contacts.”
“It’s a season unlike any other,” Wilcox said in the press conference. “More than anything, our team wants to play. I think everybody feels that, and there’s excitement. We know there are hurdles, we knew that coming in and we’re faced with it now. Hopefully, we’ll learn more from the public health officers in the real near future about where this leads us.”
Statement from Cal Athletics: pic.twitter.com/c87D7crujv
— Cal Football (@CalFootball) November 5, 2020
Jasper Kenzo Sundeen covers football and is the deputy special issues editor. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.