Notre Dame football's second round of COVID-19 testing yields zero positive tests

Eric Hansen
South Bend Tribune

Notre Dame’s athletic department issued a progress report Tuesday regarding COVID-19 testing of its football players who returned to campus in mid-June.

The result? Well, progress.

According to team physician Dr. Matt Leiszler, 103 players were tested, and all 103 came back negative in a second round of testing administered last Wednesday. The initial testing period (June 15-19), which preceded the start of summer voluntary individual workouts, yielded one positive test.

That player was isolated at the time (June 18) but has recovered and returned to voluntary workouts, per a university press release. He was asymptomatic at the time as were four other players who self-isolated after contact tracing connected them to the player who tested positive.

Overall, Notre Dame has administered 252 COVID-19 tests to members of the football program and athletics department, with one positive test.

Along with the latest developments, the Irish made the move from phase 1 to phase 2 in their re-entry program, which means the size of groups working out together increased from 10 to 30 or 40.

On June 22, Notre Dame began individual voluntary workouts for football only — its first on-campus team activity since staging its first and only spring practice session on March 5. The remaining 14 spring practices were canceled due to the pandemic before student-athletes could return from spring break.

If all continues to go well, Notre Dame will begin required team activities on Monday. Those will be heavy on conditioning and weight training, and include some film study. From July 24 to Aug. 6 the amount and scope of those required activities expand, per a standardized NCAA blueprint, to include walk-throughs and meetings.

Training camp kicks off Aug. 7.

The season opener against Navy is slated for Sept. 5 or 6 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis. Md., after being moved from its original date (Aug. 29) and venue (Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland).

Notre Dame takes the field for its Camping World Bowl matchup with Iowa State, Dec. 28 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla.