USC football is in good shape on the coronavirus front for now
USC football will play a game of football this week. Not all Pac-12 teams can say the same.
Friday was a day filled with chaos as the conference had to cancel games between Cal and ASU and UCLA and Utah.
Utah’s troubles with COVID-19 positives and contact tracing stretch back to last week when they had to cancel their opener with Arizona. However, the Sun Devils where USC’s opponents in Week 1 and their slew of cases rightly raised concerns for the Trojans.
If ASU’s players or coaching staff were carrying the virus on Saturday, it could have made the jump to USC.
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Fortunately, USC’s testing is currently showing no signs of following ASU down the COVID-19 rabbit hole.
USC players and staff went through three rounds of testing between Thursday morning and Friday afternoon with all tests coming back negative, according to Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News.
That testing included rapid antigen testing as well as the more reliable PCR test, per Ryan Kartje of the LA Times.
Long story short, USC is clear to head to Tucson for Saturday’s battle with Arizona.
USC football needs to take every precaution while traveling
Does all that mean USC is out of the woods? Not by a long shot. It’s a good sign to make it to the end of the week without any positive tests, but the incubation period for COVID-19 can be up to two weeks according to the CDC. It’s cross-your-fingers time for USC.
The Trojans can’t control what’s happening on the incubation front, but they should take a note of how travel has been connected to outbreaks of the virus around college football.
This week Clay Helton detailed how USC would be flying in the largest plane they could find with players socially distanced and no non-essential people joining the travel party. Players will also have their own rooms in Tucson and won’t gather for a team meal. They’ll wake up in the morning and have their breakfast delivered to their rooms before going straight to the team bus for the trip to the stadium.
It’s vital USC follows those procedures and continues to take every precaution. We’ve seen what can happen if even one player contracts the virus. The season is at stake.