Oregon Ducks

Oregon football's five positive COVID-19 tests were all false positives

Oregon Ducks

False alarm in Eugene.

After "two separate subsequent negative PCR tests from independent labs," the five positive antigen tests from Saturday within the Ducks program were all false positives, Oregon announced Tuesday evening. 

All student-athletes were permitted to practice with the team Tuesday morning. 

There was regular PCR testing on Sunday as well as the standard daily antigen testing on Monday and Tuesday, with all results returning as negative.

It was on Saturday when those first positive antigen tests came back since daily testing began, causing the Ducks to cancel its Saturday scrimmage. 

"Out of extreme caution, tonight’s Oregon football practice inside Autzen Stadium was canceled due to five positive antigen tests within the program," the program said in a press release Saturday. "These are the first positive tests within the football program since daily testing began. All five are asymptomatic, in isolation and being monitored by medical staff.

"The health and safety of our student-athletes is and will continue to be our top priority. Local health authorities have been notified and contact tracing is in process."

After the announcement, Mario Cristobal gave a statement to the media without taking any further questions.

"We did have five positive antigen tests today in our program, so we did cancel the scrimmage tonight," said Cristobal.

"They are all asymptomatic, as normal as can be. They're all in isolation and working with the medical staff and local health [authorities] to make sure all protocol is followed. It has been to-the-t since the beginning. It's the first time we've had positive antigens tests in our program.

 

"And also working with local health and our medical team with the contact tracing stuff which is a little bit more thorough and I know they take a deeper dive into that. But, I wish I had answers to some of the questions you might have but I don't. I just wanted to provide you with transparency.

"I'll let you know exactly where we are today: the scrimmage was canceled, tomorrow we are testing the entire team again which is normal policy anyways, and followup PCR tests for the other guys who have tested positive as well.

"And then from there, we will see what the next steps are in terms of when is the next time we do whatever as it relates to team activities... When we have more information as it it relates to our football program and the next steps in our process we will certainly get with you and let you know. Thank you and please be safe. Have a good night."

As of Saturday, Lane County has had 283 cases in the previous seven days per The New York TimesThe county is in Phase 2 of reopening but saw new spikes in COVID-19 cases with the return of college students to the area. 

The University of Oregon has the COVID-19 Alert Level at "High" and recommends people to take "measures to limit most contact and modify everyday activities to reduce personal exposure" due to "increased cases, including spread in the community" with "available but stressed capacity in health-care facilities." 

“We all need to aggressively adhere to the face covering guidance and always wear a mask,” said Shimi Sharief, OHA senior health advisor. “We know everyone is tired and we all wish this would go away, but the reality is this disease is spreading in Oregon and it’s on all of us to protect ourselves and each other.”

 [Listen to the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent]