Notre Dame will resume team practices on Wednesday after reporting 18 positive coronavirus tests on Monday, but the program has changed the way it will eat pre-match meals and will now have rapid antigen tests available on the sidelines due to lessons learned from the outbreak, Coach Brian Kelly told ESPN on Monday. Tuesday.
Kelly said the team’s doctors determined that the outbreak, which has resulted in 25 players being isolated and 14 others in quarantine, stems from two events surrounding the September 19 match against South Florida: having a pre-match meal together and one player vomiting in the match. Treated for dehydration while playing.
Kelly said the change in routine from Summer Camp to Game Week reveals new challenges that could only have been discovered early in the season.
“All our time together, we didn’t have a single meal as we sat together,” Kelly said. “Everything was catching and going. We got into our game mode where we ate a pre-match meal together, and that’s costing us. Great. We had someone who was asymptomatic, and it spread like wildfire all over our meeting area where we were eating and then got guys In contact tracing. “
Kelly said the team will now eat pre-match meals in a convention center with large ballroom halls where it is easy for players to stay at least 6 feet apart and not have any face-to-face contact. Kelly said he would have to wear a microphone in order to be heard in such a large space.
“It’s a reality we live in, and if you want to play football, you have to make some adjustments along the way,” Kelly said.
Kelly said that the player who vomited during the South Florida game did not suffer a concussion or any other injuries, so medical staff treated him for dehydration. Kelly said the player’s test result was positive on Monday.
“In an effort to distinguish the difference between someone who might be dehydrated in a game and have the effects of COVID at the sidelines, [it] Kelly said, “It gets very difficult. Just being vigilant and understanding that this thing can hide in so many different areas makes it a difficult proposition, even if you are doing all the right things.”
“We should consider doing antigen testing on the sidelines for things that we never thought about,” Kelly said. “That’s the kind of quicksand in this whole thing, learning in-game what to do, and what not to do. We are testing Friday nights as well, so hopefully your PCR test gets that, but it’s still a 50-50 suggestion if you cook during That time, so there is still a little uncertainty. “
Notre Dame’s 18 positive tests came from a round of 273 tests conducted between Tuesday and Saturday. Kelly said he expects 90% of the team to train by Saturday. He said they were holding Zoom meetings, adapting smaller groups, and watching a game movie in preparation for their October 10 game against Florida.
Notre Dame started the match 2–0 with beating Duke and South Florida, but their September 26 match against Wake Forest was postponed until December 12, and Kelly said that in his 30 years of training he did not start a season and then was suspended for two weeks.
“They can recover from this, but this is not the ideal situation,” Kelly said. “You don’t want to start your season and then you have to take a few weeks off. From this perspective, we have to reset our timing, and for sure we have to have a great week of training and expect to be able to do so.”
Kelly said one of the encouraging lessons from this outbreak is that Notre Dame believes there hasn’t been much, if any, field dispatch to South Florida. Because of that, he said he believed “college football is in good shape.”
“After we’ve gone through what we’ve been through, we feel completely confident that this will not be the area that we need to watch,” Kelly said. “The area that we need to continue to watch and watch is your own team as it relates to the social dimension, masks, while eating, things like that.
“The basic criteria for this still apply, and you have to be diligent with them, even when the time for the match comes, and that’s the lesson we learned.”