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Saturday's Virginia-Louisville football game rescheduled due to COVID-19 issues

Saturday's Virginia-Louisville football game rescheduled due to COVID-19 issues

Louisville Pittsburgh Football

Louisville head coach Scott Satterfield leads his team onto the field for a game against Pittsburgh on Sept. 26 in Pittsburgh. The Cardinals’ game against Virginia on Nov. 7 was postponed until Nov. 14 due to COVID-19.

Due to a COVID-19 outbreak within Louisville’s football program, Saturday’s game between the Cardinals and Virginia has been postponed, the ACC announced Wednesday night.

Louisville’s football program paused team activities as a result of the outbreak. Louisville was without several players in last weekend’s game against Virginia Tech due to COVID-19 issues, and the Cardinals now can’t play this weekend after additional positive tests received Wednesday evening.

The game has been tentatively rescheduled for 3:30 p.m. on Nov. 14, which was previously a bye week for the Wahoos.

That week was originally reserved for UVa’s game against Duke, but the matchup with the Blue Devils was moved to Sept. 26 after the UVa-Virginia Tech game set for Sept. 19 was also moved due to positive tests within Virginia Tech’s program. The Cavaliers will face the Hokies on Dec. 12.

Instead of facing the Cardinals this Saturday, the Cavaliers hope to play Louisville a week from Saturday in Charlottesville. Louisville also had an off week scheduled for Nov. 14, making the postponement somewhat convenient for both sides.

“We are taking a precautionary measure to pause due to the number of student-athletes and staff that have been impacted by the virus,” Louisville director of athletics Vince Tyra said in a statement. “With Virginia and us both having a bye week on November 14, we are fortunate to reschedule the game for that date.”

According to Tyra, 10 student-athletes tested positive for COVID-19 and an additional five are quarantining due to close contact with those athletes. Five support staff members also tested positive and two additional support staff members are in quarantine.

“We felt it was necessary due to the fact that the support staff that tested positive, they work closely with our players in the training room and in the equipment area,” Tyra said in a Wednesday night press conference.

Health guidelines mandate anyone who tests positive self-isolate for a minimum of 10 days. Close contacts who quarantine must do so for two weeks.

Louisville officials spoke with UVa director of athletics Carla Williams during the process of potentially postponing the game, and Tyra added that both the ACC and UVa were respectful of the decision to pause activities.

Tyra added that test results from Friday and Sunday will determine when the Cardinals can return to team activities, which are currently halted. Currently, players and staff aren’t allowed to use the team facility due to the pause in activities.

The rescheduled Virginia-Louisville matchup is set to air on the ACC Network on Nov. 14, but if the Cardinals can’t return to activities early next week, the game could once again be rescheduled. With both teams well out of the conference title hunt, Tyra mentioned that the game could theoretically take place on Dec. 19 – the same day as the ACC Championship Game.

After numerous schedule changes at the beginning of the season, UVa went through a solid stretch of games without major COVID-19 issues on either side. Despite no player positives ahead of last week’s game for the Wahoos, they’ll be on the sidelines Saturday due to the Louisville outbreak.

COVID-19 remains a threat to completing the season, even if UVa’s players and staff remain largely safe from the virus. Now, the Cavaliers will wait, hoping to compete again on Nov. 14.

“My hope is that we get this game in next week,” Tyra said.

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