Ohio state coach Ryan Day among those in football program will test positive for COVID-19

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Ohio State football coach Ryan Day has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not travel with the No.4 Buckeyes for Saturday’s game against Illinois, the school said in a press release.Assistant head coach / defensive line coach Larry Johnson will serve as interim head coach on Saturday while Day is isolated.

The state of Ohio has confirmed “an increase in the number of positive tests this week for the coronavirus,” but it continues to prepare for its noon game in Champaign, Illinois.

The Buckeyes completed another round of daily testing on Friday morning, and all team members – including coaches and support staff – will also have PCR testing on Friday afternoon “out of caution to make sure everything the world on the trip is confirmed negative for the coronavirus, ”according to a press release.

Due to additional PCR testing, the team will fly to Champaign on Saturday morning instead of Friday afternoon.

A school spokesperson told ESPN that Day informed the team of his positive test around 3 p.m. ET on Friday; the Buckeyes weren’t planning to leave until 9 p.m. on Friday anyway because they can’t eat together or be in boardrooms together once in Illinois due to social distancing measures.

The state of Ohio generally likes to arrive at games about two hours before kick-off, so a Saturday morning start shouldn’t be a major setback. Because Illinois is central time and the state of Ohio is east, they also have a bit more flexibility. All program participants who take follow-up PCR tests on Friday afternoon have already tested negative.

The department has kept the University of Illinois and the Big Ten informed of developments.

“I’ve spoken with Coach Day, and he’s doing well physically,” athletic director Gene Smith said. “I feel bad for Coach and for the members of the program who have been diagnosed with a positive test.

“Coach Day and this team have been true leaders in managing things throughout this pandemic. Our team wants to play this game, and we’re going to do everything we can to make it happen. All decisions regarding the well-being of our student-athletes and staff will continue to be guided by our medical staff. ”

According to the school, the state of Ohio has “consistently recorded nearly 0% positivity since Aug. 11,” and while there has been an increase in positive tests, it still does not meet the threshold. for the state of Ohio to cancel the game this week, according to Big Ten protocols.

Ohio State’s Nov. 14 game in Maryland has been called off due to COVID-19 in the Terps program.

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