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Orange County SC’s game postponed because of coronavirus tests affecting other teams

Game was halted 30 minutes before kickoff out of caution.

Courtesy of Orange County SC.

Orange County SC’s game against Sacramento Republic FC Wednesday has been postponed, about 30 minutes before scheduled kickoff at Papa Murphy’s Park, because of positive coronavirus tests elsewhere.

Earlier on Wednesday, LA Galaxy II’s game against San Diego Loyal at Dignity Health Sports Park was postponed because of multiple individuals involved receiving positive coronavirus tests. Statements from both teams did not specify which team had the positive tests, or maybe it was both teams, it’s unclear.

Both Orange County and Sac Republic had released their lineups for the game, and a few minutes later, called it off. Sacramento had just played Galaxy II on Saturday in Carson, and while Sacramento have not had any positive tests as of their last round of testing, the club said the decision was made out of an abundance of caution, indicating at least one of the positive tests was someone associated with Los Dos.

“We received news a very short time ago that a previous opponent we had played had tested positive [for coronavirus],” Republic FC president Ben Gumpert told reporters at the stadium after the news broke. “So even though we’ve undergone all the correct protocols and continued to and did not receive any positive tests on our team, as well as OC, again, in the abundance of caution. That’s something we’re going to continue to uphold. We decided to postpone the game. We were in consultation over the last hour with UC Davis health, with league health experts, of course with Orange County as well as other members of the league, and made this call together. Everyone, together, felt this was the right decision, the safest decision, and that’s what we’re going to do. We’re excited to welcome Orange County back when it is safer for everyone to play. We will continue to follow all the protocols that are necessary, because health continues to be the No. 1 priority. We knew that this was a possibility, and that’s why we have these protocols in place. We put those protocols in action, and that’s why we made this call.”

When asked for comment, an Orange County SC spokesperson had no specific comment other than to highlight OCSC had no direct involvement from their players or impacted recent opponents.

A USL statement included the following: “Proceeding with an abundance of caution, the postponement comes after the league was notified tonight of a positive COVID-19 test result from a previous opponent. Once notified, Republic FC followed all league, local and state protocols.”

It’s strange, though certainly not completely unexpected news, given the times we now live in. At present, it’s unclear when the game will be rescheduled. Orange County’s next game comes against...Los Dos, but that game is scheduled for Aug. 7 so more than a week of time until then may give them time to prevent a full-on team outbreak.

For OC, to come within 30 minutes of kickoff after a bus trip all the way up to Sacramento is a real drag, but on the other hand, we don’t want there to be a chain reaction of team outbreaks. The top priority is to stay healthy, and hopefully everyone involved will recover if they have tested positive, and stay healthy if they have not. And to the rest of us in the world, practice good hygiene, social distance, and wear a mask so we can finish this pandemic off as soon as possible. We’ll keep you posted on developments to this story.

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