COVID-19: Cal Reports Only 2 New Positives Among 300 Tests Over Past 3 Weeks

Jeff Faraudo

Cal announced Wednesday just two positives among 300 COVID-19 tests administered to athletes over the past three weeks.

There were no positive results over the past week, the athletic department reported.

The positive test rate of 0.67 percent represents an improvement over two previous testing groups, but Cal still has not moved into the next phase in on-campus workouts.

Athletes at Cal are allowed to do voluntary outdoor workouts in cohorts of 12 without supervision by coaches.

Elsewhere in the Pac-12, some athletic departments moved to a second phase on Monday, allowing 20 hours weekly of mandatory workouts that include supervision by coaches and organized film study. In a typical year, that is a run-up to the start of full-fledged fall training camp.

Cal has not moved to that level, based on restrictions by Berkeley and Alameda County public health officials.

Pac-12 schools will be allowed to begin football fall camp workouts on Monday, Aug. 17, but it seems unlikely Cal will be permitted to get started on that date. Other schools in COVID-19 hotspots, including Los Angeles and Arizona, may also see their start dates delayed.

The Pac-12 announced on July 31 a revamped football schedule that features conference-only games, set to start on Sept. 26. Cal’s opening game that day is at Oregon State.

Utah athletic director Mark Harlan acknowledged that date remains uncertain.

“As we go into this adventure, this is an aspirational schedule, we recognize that,” Harlan said. “We built it to be flexible. We know that, in the course of this schedule, there’s going to be moments where a team can’t play. I think it would be foolish to think it would not happen.”

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott agreed that not everyone in the conference will follow the same path or timetable, even in terms of fall practices.

“For some of our programs, this is still subject to public health authorities and government approvals,” Scott said last Friday. “Everyone can start as early as Aug. 17, but it’s not my expectation that everyone will start or manage their 25 (practices) the same way.”

Cal’s latest batch of testing results demonstrates an encouraging direction.

On July 16, the most recent date the athletic department released results, there were five positives among about 150 results, a positive rate of about 3 percent.

The department made available its first testing results on June 30, with three positive outcomes among 96 tests conducted. That’s also positive rate of about 3 percent.

The 550 total tests Cal has conducted — with 10 positive results — represent many athletes receiving repeat tests. Cal is not releasing the number of tests or positive results associated with any particular sport in order to guard privacy.

County-wide, the numbers still are not good.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Alameda County had 2,526 new confirmed cases over the past week, an average of 154 per 100,000 population. That fails the goal of limiting new cases to an average of 100 per 100,000 over a 14-day span.

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