College Football Team With 99% Vaccinated Players Forced To Postpone Game Due to Covid Outbreak

 On Saturday, the California Berkeley Bears played with less than 50 scholarship players after 24 players tested positive for Covid-19. Five coaches were also kept out due to Covid. 

On Tuesday, the school announced a game cancellation against USC because additional players tested positive for Covid. The university stated that 99% of their football team is fully vaccinated. At least 44 people tested positive over the past week. 

Director of Athletics Jim Knowlton said, “…Due to additional impact on specific position groups, we have decided to postpone Saturday’s game. We have had multiple COVID-19 positives within our program, and we are taking every step we can to mitigate the spread and protect the greater community.”

The CAL football program released a statement saying, “All of these 44 lab-confirmed cases involve people infected with highly contagious COVID-19, which spreads easily unless public health safeguards are used.”

Chase Garbers, the CAL quarterback, did not hold back his frustration with the decision. He tweeted his disappointment on behalf of himself and his teammates. He notes that his team has worked too hard for all of this to be taken away.

The team’s linebacker, Luc Bequette, claimed the University Health Services threatened to arrest players if they refused to be tested. He tweeted, “If I understand correctly, I can go to San Francisco, steal a bunch of items in a Walgreens, and not be arrested. However, if I refuse a test in Berkeley, I can be… “

Players were frustrated by the lack of clarity and communication from the University Health Services. Players accused the city officials and university staff of not providing answers to their questions. Players believe testing was highly recommended but not required, but the university told them it was mandatory.

Berkeley’s Department of Public Health was quick to blame the program for not following public health measures.

The statement read, “These simple measures keep people safe. Failing to do so results not only in individual infections, sickness, and worse but also threatens the safety of all around them – especially those with compromised immune systems.”

Both USC and CAL have been eliminated from the PAC-12 championship game. The game has been rescheduled for December 4, one day after the championship game. 

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