California Golden Bears football coach Justin Wilcox said the team followed COVID-19 protocols


BERKELEY, Calif .– California coach Justin Wilcox said his team followed all proper protocols ahead of a COVID-19 outbreak that led to dozens of positive tests and the first postponement of a major college football game this season.

The Golden Bears played last week in Arizona without starting quarterback Chase Garbers and six other starters due to positive tests that eliminated 24 players and assistant coaches. Further positive tests on Tuesday made it impossible for Cal to field a team this week and led to the postponement of Saturday’s game against Southern California.

“We followed the guidelines of the sports department, the university and the city of Berkeley,” Wilcox said Wednesday. “We have healthcare professionals housed in our building, our practices, our planes, the weight room and the training room. There are people here to help us with all of this on a daily basis. Are everyone perfect and following every protocol? I don’t know if I could say that. We are doing our best.

The Berkeley Department of Public Health released a statement Tuesday evening saying there was “continued non-compliance with public health measures” that contributed to the 44 positive laboratory-confirmed tests.

Specifically, the ministry said people in the program do not get tested when sick, stay at home when sick, or wear masks indoors.

“These simple measures ensure the safety of people,” the statement said. “Failure to do so not only leads to individual infections, illnesses and worse, but also threatens the safety of everyone around them, especially those with weakened immune systems. “

Wilcox did not respond to these specific accusations, saying he did not want to get into a public feud with the Department of Health.

“I don’t necessarily want to go back and forth with the city of Berkeley,” he said. “For me, it’s about having productive communication. I don’t know if it’s too productive.”

Offensive lineman Valentino Daltoso said the players have been following the rules as best they can and are unsure why a team with a 99% vaccination rate has had an outbreak.

“We have clear guidelines for us as players and people in the building. Hide indoors, in meeting rooms, when you’re going to be checked in and all that sort of thing,” he said. “I can only really speak for myself. I try my best and we go, but we spend a lot of time together playing football every day, practicing and everything, so I don’t know. is really difficult to point the finger in such a situation.

Several actors, including Garbers, have publicly expressed their frustration with what they called a lack of communication and transparency.

Wilcox said he understands that feeling and believes communication could have been better in every way, but believes his players are in a better state of mind after the USC game was rescheduled for the 4 December instead of being canceled.

“The disappointment and frustration they feel is temporary,” Wilcox said. “I think their attitude today is great. They understand it’s very complicated and difficult. They’ve been great on the pitch today in terms of coming back and looking forward to training and doing what they want. ‘they love to do. I think they’re just looking forward to the next opportunity to play together again. “

Players who did not test positive have trained and Cal is set to follow improved protocols for the remainder of the season, including regular testing, social distance training and players receiving boxed meals.

Cal is set to play the Big Game against rival Stanford next week, then travel to UCLA ahead of the rescheduled final against USC.

Wilcox said he hopes enough players will come out of isolation by next week to allow those games to be played.

“Definitely optimistic. I wouldn’t say we are out of the woods yet,” he said. “For the rest of the season I would expect us to have a regular testing schedule. That’s what I would expect. But we’re optimistic.”


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