The SteveWire

Notre Dame Paused Football Activities on Tuesday After More Covid-19 Coronavirus Cases

Notre Dame announced on Tuesday that they were pausing football operations after a rash of new Covid-19 coronavirus cases emerged, with additional testing and tracing planned.

Said Notre Dame:

"A total of 94 COVID-19 tests were administered to Notre Dame Football student-athletes on Monday. ... [T]here were seven positive tests, according to University Physician Dr. Matt Leiszler. Those seven ... are in isolation and their close contacts have been/are being identified.

In consultation with the St. Joseph County Department of Health, the Notre Dame Football program has decided to pause all football-related activities until further testing is completed. Combined with last week’s testing results, a total of 13 players are currently in isolation, with 10 in quarantine."

Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly highlighted protocols, testing procedures and concern for player health and safety:

"'With student-athlete health and safety our primary focus, we will continue to follow our prevention protocols and ongoing testing procedures,' ... '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 ....'

Nevertheless, Kelly predicted a hoped-for return to regular operations:

"'We look forward to resuming team activities and getting back on the playing field.'"

Later it was determined that Notre Dame's third game, originally scheduled for Sept. 26, would be moved to Dec. 12.

As a result, Notre Dame will have played just two games in September, with their next hoped-for game not until Oct. 10, against Florida State at home.

Additionally, if the latest version of scheduling holds, the Irish will have at least two regular season games in December, on Dec. 5 and Dec. 12, with a third December game coming on Dec. 19 if Notre Dame makes it into the ACC title game.

It was about a century ago that the greatest all-around player to ever play the game, George Gipp, died while still a Notre Dame student, of a communicable respiratory illness.

Key Words: Notre Dame Football, Covid-19, Coronavirus, Pandemic

Coronavirus file image