The California Golden Bears celebrate after Cal beat the Illinois Fighting Illini 35-20 at the Redbox Bowl at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara on Monday, Dec. 30, 2019. A member of the Cal football program tested positive for coronavirus this week.(Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)
A member of the Cal football program has tested positive for COVID-19, putting Saturday’s delayed season-opening game with Washington in jeopardy.
Wednesday’s result marked the first positive test within the Cal football program since the start of daily testing at the beginning of October.
Bears coach Justin Wilcox said the positive test is requiring a “significant” number of players needing contact tracing, according to The Associated Press.
“If it is feasible for us to play we are going to play the game,” Wilcox said on a videoconference call with reporters. “Are there hurdles? There are hurdles, yes. With the players in question the game is in jeopardy. If we have the bodies available to play the game we will play the game. Several people are being held out, and that’s a legitimate threat to the game.”
Wednesday’s practice was limited and some team drills were not doable based on the number of players held out. Wilcox wouldn’t specify how many players were sidelined. The player with a positive COVID-19 test is asymptomatic.
Wilcox said that Cal’s athletic department was in contact with Washington officials Wednesday night about the game scheduled for at Memorial Stadium.
After receiving a positive result through his regularly scheduled daily antigen test, the student-athlete took a supplemental PCR test, as is protocol.
The PCR test also produced a positive outcome. As a result, Cal athletics is following recommendations from University Health Services Infection Control and Berkeley Public Health on contact tracing, quarantining, symptom monitoring and treatment. Several student-athletes were held out of practice Wednesday as a precautionary measure while contact tracing is being completed.
Since student-athlete testing began on June 4, Cal athletics has conducted 3,547 total PCR tests among all student-athletes (through Oct. 30) with 20 positive results.