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Berkeley Public Health releases statement on Cal football COVID situation
The city's health department classifies the football program as "an environment of ongoing failure to abide by public health measures."
Write For California received a statement from Berkeley Public Health regarding the COVID situation involving the Cal football team. The City of Berkeley is responsible for all health policy that impacts UC Berkeley, and by extension, Cal Athletics.
The Berkeley Health Department cited "an environment of ongoing failure to abide by public health measures." Examples included individuals in the Cal program not getting tested when sick, not staying home when sick, and not wearing masks indoors.
44 players and staffers are now confirmed to have tested positive for COVID, placing the Cal football program in “major outbreak” protocol. Major outbreak protocol is triggered when a workplace hits 20+ positives. Cal will be subject to regular testing until the entire team is under two positives for a 14-day period.
Cal had to reschedule their game against USC to December 4, the final week of the college football regular season, due to a near entire position group having to quarantine.
Here is the full statement, unedited.
Berkeley Public Health continues to work closely with University Health Services to help contain and respond to a major COVID-19 outbreak involving the coaches, students, and staff in the Cal Football program. All of these 44 lab-confirmed cases involve people infected with highly contagious COVID-19, which spreads easily unless public health safeguards are used. Cases emerged in an environment of ongoing failure to abide by public health measures. People in the program did not:
Get tested when sick
Stay home when sick
Wear masks indoors
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.
“Isolation” is the epidemiological term used for actions once someone tests positive for a disease such as COVID-19. California Department of Public Health, City of Berkeley, PAC-12, and UC Berkeley requirements state that those who test positive for COVID-19 must Isolate until:
At least 10 days have passed since symptom onset; AND
At least 24 hours have passed since resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications; AND
Other symptoms have improved
Consistent with state recommendations applied to all settings experiencing outbreaks, the City of Berkeley has recommended that Cal test all exposed individuals at the cadence indicated in Cal-OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards, which includes guidance for “major outbreaks.”
CDPH and Cal-OSHA guidance for testing in response to a major outbreak is a minimum of twice a week until there are fewer than three COVID-19 cases detected in the exposed group for a 14-day-period. At that point, the state guidance is for weekly testing until there are 14 days with no cases.
We strongly support the actions of University Health Services and the UC Berkeley administration to protect its students, staff, faculty, and the surrounding community.