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ECU football set to face Georgia State following Panthers’ COVID-19 testing errors

Published: Sep. 27, 2020 at 3:41 PM EDT
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ATLANTA (WITN) - As originally scheduled, ECU football will face Georgia State on Saturday, Oct. 3.

The Panthers did not play Charlotte this past Saturday because of COVID-19 concerns, but according to Georgia State athletics, the positive testing that caused Saturday’s postponement was a result of “errors in reading the test results.”

In a press release Sunday, Georgia State will return to practice Monday to start preparations for ECU this Saturday at noon inside Center Parc Stadium in Atlanta.

The GSU-Charlotte game has not yet been rescheduled.

According to Georgia State athletics: “GSU student-athletes and staff tested three times last week on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, with the first two rounds producing zero positive tests. The results from Thursday’s round became available Friday afternoon, just before the team’s scheduled departure, and the positive results caused Georgia State to postpone the game out of an abundance of caution.”

GSU Director of Athletics Charlie Cobb offered this explanation:

“Friday afternoon, as we were loading the buses to play a football game at Charlotte, we were informed that four individuals out of 135 had tested positive for Coronavirus from our third test in four days as part of our protocol to play. Through contract tracing, we identified 17 others, including one coach, who would require quarantining. These were our first positive test results in three weeks among our athletics programs, which since April have experienced a positivity rate of 1.7 percent. Out of an abundance of caution for the rest of our team and Charlotte, we could not in good conscience put our team on the bus and play a game. As part of our protocols, we tested the individuals again Friday afternoon and were informed by our lab Friday night that none tested positive. They also retested the swabs from Thursday and all tested negative as well. It was at this point that the lab director informed our medical staff that a human error Friday morning caused the error in test results. The disappointing news is that we could have played on Saturday. More importantly, the positive news is we are not dealing with an outbreak at this time. We appreciate the professionalism shown by [Charlotte Director of Athletics] Mike Hill and Coach [Will] Healy throughout the past 48 hours. We look forward to hosting East Carolina on Saturday, Oct. 3 at Center Parc Stadium.”

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