First OSU football player tests positive for COVID-19

As Oregon State plays against Washington State, an empty Reser Stadium looms over them. Due to COVID-19, entry to Reser Stadium on game days is extremely limited.

Thomas Salgado de Almeida, Sports Contributor

On Thursday morning, Oregon State University Athletics announced that a player on the football team tested positive for COVID-19, and three others are quarantining. This is the first coronavirus case since the football team started the season on Nov. 7.

In a press conference, Oregon State Athletic Director Scott Barnes said the single positive test came earlier in the week. Trace testing was used, which led to three other players being put into quarantine. There have been no further positive test results in the last couple of days, however, PAC-12 protocols require these players to quarantine for at least 10 days and up to 14 days before returning to play.

The name of the player who tested positive, as well as the names of the players in quarantine were not announced by the time of publication. Barnes said an update will be given on Saturday regarding which players will be out for the game against the Washington Huskies on Saturday due to quarantine protocol. Given the 10 to 14 day quarantine period, it is likely that the players will miss the game against the Cal Golden Bears on Nov. 21, as well. It was also stated in the announcement made by Oregon State Athletics that the four players in question were not part of the same position group, however.

In a season that has been cancelled, modified and shortened many times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the PAC-12 has already cancelled two games due to positive tests in its first week of action, including Washington’s season opener against Cal. The conference isn’t alone though, as many other games across the country have been cancelled as well—with three of the top five teams in the AP Poll having their games cancelled this week already, for example. The fear of game cancellations or postponement is common this season, but Barnes said he is confident that Oregon State’s game against the Huskies will not be cancelled. 

“We do have one positive and three others in quarantine,” Barnes said. “But I will tell you we are absolutely playing Saturday, so no issue there. I also wanted to share that over the last couple of days, we’ve had no positives and we go into the game on Saturday with great confidence in our ability to play.”

Barnes then expressed further confidence in Oregon State’s protocols and ability to avoid contracting COVID-19, adding that the athletic department has done over 9,000 tests since the summer and only had 20 positives to this point. 

The Beavers are still scheduled to face the Huskies on Saturday, Nov. 14, at 8 p.m. in Husky Stadium in Seattle, albeit with four less players than they were counting on originally.

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