How Notre Dame let coronavirus ‘spread like wildfire’

Notre Dame said it had 39 football players in isolation or quarantine on Monday as it deals with the COVID-19 outbreak that forced the Fighting Irish to postpone last week’s game at Wake Forest.

The Fighting Irish already had an open date scheduled for this week and are not slated to play again until Oct. 10 when Florida State travels to South Bend.

Note Dame coach Brian Kelly says team doctors determined two missteps that led to the outbreak.

“Throughout our entire time together, we had not had one meal where we sat down together,” Kelly said. “Everything was grab and go. We get into our game situation where we have pregame meal together, and that cost us. Big. We had somebody who was asymptomatic, and it spread like wildfire throughout our meeting area where we were eating and then it got guys in contact tracing.”

Kelly also said they thought a player who was vomiting during their Sept. 19 victory over South Florida was suffering from dehydration, but he ultimately tested positive for coronavirus.

“In trying to discern the difference between somebody who may be dehydrated in a game and having the effects of COVID on the sideline, [it] becomes very tricky,” Kelly said. “Just being vigilant and understanding that this thing can hide in so many different areas make it a tricky proposition, even if you’re doing all of the right things.”

In a news release, Notre Dame said 18 football players tested positive last week, seven of which had already been quarantined after contact tracing had determined they had been exposed to people who had already been infected.

A total of 25 players were in isolation after testing positive and another 14 were being quarantined after contact tracing, the school said. Notre Dame said the teams was able to resume conditioning activities for the players who were permitted to participate.

— With AP

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