Auburn suspends football operations after 9 players, 3 staff members test positive for COVID-19
Auburn University head football coach Gus Malzahn is suspending all football operations and temporarily closing facilities in response to an outbreak of the coronavirus among his team.
“We’ve had nine players test positive, and three staff members test positive. We’re pausing our workouts and practice right now until we get this thing under control,” remarked Malzahn at a press conference on Tuesday.
Malzahn noted that a “handful” of other individuals who were in close contact with the positive cases are quarantining as well.
The Tigers’ game against Mississippi State, once slated for Saturday, was already postponed until December 12 due to several coronavirus infections among the Bulldogs.
Auburn had a scheduled off week during the weekend of November 7, but now what would have been the team’s second straight week off will be hampered by coronavirus precautions.
“[W]e’re going to just take it day by day and get this thing under control. We knew this year that there would be some challenges,” advised Malzahn on Tuesday, adding that Auburn is “testing every day to get this thing under control.”
Malzahn also noted that before the recent outbreak, his team had recorded zero positives for seven straight weeks.
In response to a question about whether Auburn’s cases were due to one specific event, Malzahn said he did not think so, but mentioned that in an off week, players get out of their routines, which he appeared to intimate might have been the cause.
Auburn is currently scheduled to play Tennessee on Saturday, November 21 at 6:00 p.m. on ESPN.