Georgia’s ability to navigate the pandemic within its football program last season kept it from having any disruptions to its schedule because of issues within its own team.
The football program’s number of players who tested positive for COVID-19 from one week before the start of the regular season to the end appears to be in the single digits.
Georgia said 36 players tested positive from the return to campus in June through the end of the fall semester (Dec. 17), according to information obtained Monday via an open records request. It did not break that down with any more detail to narrow the time span, but according to information released in January, 29 players tested positive from June 10 through Sept. 18, eight days before the start of the season.
The school said 29 players also were quarantined from June through the end of the fall semester for close contact exposure.
Georgia had an uptick in positive cases before the Jan. 1 Peach Bowl, coach Kirby Smart said on Dec. 20.
“We’ve had more positives in the last probably two to three weeks than we have all year,” he said then.
UGA president Jere Morehead in January praised director of sports medicine Ron Courson for leading the athletic department this season as it developed and followed health and safety protocols.
“I don’t think we would have made it through COVID-19 had we not had Ron Courson,” Morehead said. “He was so valuable to not only us, but the SEC. The Commissioner had Ron working on their medical task force, making the decisions necessary to play football this fall and knew that in him we had the very best anywhere.”
Georgia reported 84 “Olympic sport” athletes tested positive from June to the end of the fall semester with 119 of those athletes quarantined. The soccer and men’s tennis programs had COVID-19 issues during the fall semester.
There were more than 22,000 COVID-19 PCR tests conducted from June to the end of the fall semester, according to UGA athletics.