Notre Dame tested its entire roster Monday, and of those 94 tests, seven players tested positive for the coronavirus. Combining those results with the positive tests and subsequent contact tracing from last week and the weekend, the Irish now have a total of 13 players in isolation with another 10 in quarantine.
As a result, all football activities have been paused and Notre Dame until further testing is completed, the ACC and Wake Forest are in the process of rescheduling the game originally scheduled for this Saturday.
“With student-athlete health and safety our primary focus, we will continue to follow our prevention protocols and ongoing testing procedures,” Irish head coach Brian Kelly said in a statement. “We managed an increase in positivity rates in August, and the players handled it wonderfully.
“We knew COVID would present challenges throughout the season, and we’ll always put student-athlete health and safety at the forefront of our decision making. We look forward to resuming team activities and getting back on the playing field.”
On Sept. 14, Notre Dame (2-0, 1-0 ACC) announced two positive tests and two more players in quarantine following contact tracing. On Saturday, seven players within the Irish two-deep were deemed unavailable against South Florida. On Monday, Notre Dame announced four positive tests and six more players in quarantine via Sunday testing.
Contact tracing following Monday’s seven positive tests is still in process.
Both the Irish and the Demon Deacons have an off week on Oct. 3, but before the game can be conveniently pushed to then, Notre Dame has to be able to resume football activities in general.
If I understand this correctly, if #NotreDame plays at Wake Forest this weekend, no fans.
If they move the game to Oct. 3, a mutual off week, then the Deacons could have 2,205 fans … https://t.co/Z5Up04QXzb
— Douglas Farmer (@D_Farmer) September 22, 2020
Players in isolation (after testing positive) remain there for a minimum of 10 days, per CDC guidelines and ACC requirements. Those in quarantine (via contact tracing) remain there for 14 days, again following CDC guidelines and ACC requirements. Maintaining fitness in either situation is difficult, though Kelly said the Irish have protocols to counteract that concern.
“When they come back after 14 days on their own, they have a modified quarantine program that gets them back in pretty good shape,” Kelly said Monday.
Those in isolation, however, must undergo a bit more rigorous testing before they can lean into training.
“Obviously if you’ve tested positive for COVID, you have to go through a different procedure and protocol,” Kelly said. “You’ve got to have an EKG and certainly a number of different evaluations first, before you can come back.”
If rescheduling for Oct. 3 becomes untenable, the ACC intentionally left an open week for all teams on Dec. 12, as well. Notre Dame is scheduled to host Florida State on Oct. 10.
From Dave Clawson:
"We are obviously very disappointed that we will not be able to compete this weekend. However, the health and safety of Wake Forest’s and Notre Dame’s student-athletes and staff is the highest priority. …
— Conor O'Neill (@ConorONeillNOO) September 22, 2020