South Florida pauses on-field activities as precaution after Notre Dame reports positive COVID-19 results


USF announced Wednesday it has paused all on-field activities within the football program “out of an abundance of caution” following the news that Notre Dame reported new positive COVID-19 cases in its latest round of testing. 

Notre Dame, which defeated USF 52-0 in South Bend on Saturday, reported seven new positives on Monday, and postponed its upcoming Week 4 game against Wake Forest in Winston-Salem. Though USF said that all of its Monday tests produced negative results, the team is going to wait until further testing and contact tracing (via review of the game film) can be completed before continuing its on-field work. 

“After learning of an outbreak of positive test 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 football activities pending the results from our second scheduled weekly team testing conducted Wednesday morning,” the school said in an official release. 

Both AAC and ACC protocols call for at least three tests per week, including testing before and after each game. Schools can choose to test more frequently and in these rare nonconference games have been asked to abide by the standard for both participating leagues. USF, for example, said its team was tested twice on Friday in accordance with the protocols of both leagues. 

The fallout from an outbreak of positive cases continues to be a major storyline in the early part of the season. Contact tracing, isolation and quarantine have caused the postponement or cancellation of more than a dozen scheduled games through the first month of the month of the season. While the previously affected programs have been dealing with contact tracing issues within the confines of the team, USF’s review of the game film for contact tracing purposes highlights the risk of exposure on game day.

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