Notre Dame Attributes Covid-19 Spread To Pre-Game Meal

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly attributes pre-game meal and sick player to Covid-19 spread

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly told ESPN senior college football writer Heather Dinich that a pre-game meal and a player that threw up on the sideline are believed to be the cause of the team's recent Covid-19 outbreak.

"Throughout our entire time together, we had not had one meal where we sat down together," Kelly told Dinich. "Everything was grab and go. We get into our game situation where we have pregame meal together, and that cost us. Big. We had somebody who was asymptomatic, and it spread like wildfire throughout our meeting area where we were eating and then it got guys in contact tracing."

Notre Dame will alter its pre-game meal operation moving forward and will now have it in a ballroom where it can guarantee better social distancing. 

The situation on the sideline was an interesting explanation from Kelly and shows the challenge in dealing with Covid-19. Kelly said a player threw up on the sideline and was treated for dehydration, but that player later tested positive for Covid-19. Whether or not his symptoms were related to Covid-19 or dehydration is unlikely something that can be determined, but it does present a challenge to medical personnel within the program.

To deal with that, Notre Dame is looking into having tests that can be administered on the sideline during games for any players dealing with symptoms that could be related to Covid-19.

"We have to think about giving antigen tests on the sidelines for stuff that we never thought of," Kelly said. "That's the kind of shifting sands in this whole thing, learning in-game what do you do, what don't you do. We test Friday nights, too, so you're hoping your PCR test is getting that, but it's still a 50-50 proposition if you're cooking over that time, so there's still a little bit of uncertainty."

Kelly noted that his team plans to get back to practice on Wednesday, and at least 90% of his team is expected to be available to practice by Saturday. All of this information further makes it clear that Notre Dame is in great position to play its Oct. 10 home game against Florida State.


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