Washington at California football game canceled due to COVID-19

By Kevin Kelley -

The Washington Huskies at California Golden Bears football game has been canceled due to COVID-19, it was announced on Thursday.

The two schools were scheduled to meet at California Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, Calif., on Saturday, Nov. 7. The game will not be rescheduled and will be declared a no contest.

Earlier this week, a member of the Cal football program tested positive for COVID-19, marking the first positive test within the Cal football program since the start of daily testing at the beginning of October. At this time, the student-athlete who tested positive is asymptomatic.

After receiving a positive result through his regularly scheduled daily antigen test, the student-athlete took a supplemental PCR test, as is protocol. The PCR test also produced a positive outcome. Cal Athletics followed guidance from University Health Services Infection Control and Berkeley Public Health on contact tracing, quarantining, symptom monitoring and treatment. As a result, several football student-athletes are in quarantine due to contact tracing.

“The health and well-being of our student-athletes is always at the forefront of our decision making,” Cal Director of Athletics Jim Knowlton said. “We have been diligent in the development and execution of our return-to-play plan, and our goal all along has been to provide a safe environment and to mitigate risk as much as possible. We know how much our team and the greater Cal Athletics community was looking forward to the start of the football season this weekend. While we are disappointed in our inability to play this week, we are confident that we have made the right decision. As we have seen across the country, we knew that there would be COVID-19 challenges, and we will continue to follow our protocols to support the health of our student-athletes.”

The Washington-California game was slated to be the season-opener for both schools. Cal’s next scheduled game is on Saturday, Nov. 14 on the road against the Arizona State Sun Devils.

“It is very disappointing that we will not be opening our 2020 season this Saturday night against Washington,” Cal head coach Justin Wilcox said. “My heart goes out first and foremost to all of our players who have been through so much since the pandemic began and worked so hard under difficult circumstances to prepare themselves to play. They have done so well following the protocols that have been put in place, but as we are finding out first-hand, playing football during 2020 is a fragile situation.”

Washington will now open their 2020 season on Saturday, Nov. 14 at home at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Wash., against the Oregon State Beavers. The game will be televised by FS1 at 11:00pm ET.

“Our students, coaches and staff have put in incredible amount of hard work to get to this point and we are deeply disappointed they won’t have the opportunity to compete Saturday in Berkeley,” UW Director of Athletics Jen Cohen said. “I’m also disappointed for Husky Nation, they have been so patient and supportive, and we know they couldn’t wait to cheer on our Dawgs this weekend. With that said, the policies and protocols developed by the Pac-12, local and state officials placed the health and safety of students, coaches and staff at the forefront. We will now turn our attention to next week and start our preparations for Oregon State.”

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