Cal football COVID outbreak: Game rescheduled after 44 players, staff test positive for virus

The program says changes to their COVID-19 protocols are coming.

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Thursday, November 11, 2021
Game rescheduled after COVID outbreak among Cal football team
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Cal's football game against USC has been rescheduled after more than 40 players and staff tested positive for coronavirus.

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- By now, you've probably heard that Cal's football game against USC has been rescheduled after more than 40 players and staff tested positive for coronavirus. These seem to be breakthrough cases, since Cal says 99 percent of the team is fully vaccinated.

RELATED: USC-Cal football game postponed due to COVID-19 cases among Golden Bears

Last Saturday, when Cal lost to Arizona, it was because they were playing with a depleted roster. Those who were out had tested positive for COVID.

A few days later, another test revealed an outbreak: a total of 44 players and coaching staff had been infected.

Cal's athletic director Jim Knowlton said early on players and staff were tested everyday, but as the season continued and 99 percent had received the vaccine, they only tested those who were symptomatic.

"That's really how we've worked our way through this season is symptomatic, any symptoms we immediately test. We have the availability right here on campus and that's how we approached it," explained Knowlton.

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But Berkeley Public Health reacted differently saying, "Cases emerged in an environment of ongoing failure to abide by public health measures. People in the program did not get tested when sick, or stayed home when sick, or wore masks indoors."

Late Wednesday, head coach Justin Wilcox said they did the best they could to follow the health guidelines.

"There are people here to help us with all of that on a daily basis. Is everybody perfect in following every protocol? I don't know that I can say that," added Wilcox.

He promised there will now be multiple testings during the week.

RELATED: Multiple Cal football players put in COVID protocols ahead of game vs. Arizona Wildcats

While the game against USC has been rescheduled, there were questions about the team being able to play against Stanford on November 20 and against UCLA, the following week.

"I really feel good. We've tested every one of our student athletes now three times and we can see that we're at the back end of this. We're going to stay vigilant but I'm very confident that when we kick off next week and start preparing for Stanford, we're going to be in a great spot," revealed Knowlton.

The Cal versus USC game will now be played on December 4, the last home game of the year.