Utah-UCLA football game canceled after 17 positive cases of COVID-19

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – The Utah-UCLA football game scheduled for Saturday has been canceled amid multiple positive COVID-19 cases.

A press release issued by the University of Utah states that based on a high number of cases in the Utah football program as well as student-athletes being exposed, they had to cancel the Nov. 14 game against UCLA.

There are currently 17 confirmed positive cases among Utah football student-athletes, coaches, and staff and an additional 11 members of the program are now in quarantine due to contact tracing protocols, according to the release.

“Our community is especially hard-hit right now by this virus, and our team and our department have been doing everything possible to follow protocols and avoid the spread of the virus,” said Utah Director of Athletics Mark Harlan. “We were doing very well, day-by-day, and it is extremely difficult for our student-athletes and coaches that they will not be able to compete again this week. We also acknowledge the disappointment for our fans, and we know how upsetting it is for UCLA’s football program. We have maintained close communication with UCLA and we were very hopeful this game would be played. As I have said from the beginning of the pandemic, the well-being and safety of our student-athletes remains our top priority and guides all of our decisions and we are following the recommendations of medical professionals.”

Harlan also stated there have been multiple positive tests in the men’s basketball team, and that program has been shut down for now.

Head coach Kyle Whittingham stated they went into this week knowing it was a day-to-day situation.

“We have been doing everything we can under the circumstances to prepare for the game and follow all guidelines and protocols. As is always the case, the health and safety of our student-athletes come first,” said Whittingham.

The Pac-12 issued the following statement:

“The Pac-12 has, after consultation with Utah, cancelled the Utah at UCLA football game scheduled for November 14.  This decision was made under the Pac-12’s football game cancellation policy due to Utah not having the minimum number of scholarship players available for the game as a result of a number of positive football student-athlete COVID-19 cases and resulting isolation of additional football student-athletes under contact tracing protocols.  Under Conference policy, the game will be declared a no contest. The cancellation of this game is very disappointing to our student-athletes and our fans.  At the same time it is further indication that our health and safety protocols are working in identifying positive cases and contact tracing cases.  While all of us want to see our football student-athletes on the field competing, our number one priority must continue to be the health and safety of all those connected to Pac-12 football programs.” 

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