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James Franklin, Penn State Football Frustrated With 39 False Positive Coronavirus Tests

Penn State football has had its fair share of coronavirus scares so far this season.

James Franklin said at his weekly press conference Tuesday that the team has had 39 false positive coronavirus tests so far this season, which has forced players and staff members to miss practices.

“One of the issues we continue to have issues with is false positives,” Franklin said. “We’ve had 39 false positives — that means 39 people missing practice. We’re at I think a higher rate than anybody in the conference and trying to find out why.”

Earlier in the season, Franklin told the media that one of his players had a false positive the morning of the Indiana game and wasn’t able to play because of it. It’s unclear whether there have been more players to miss games because of a false positive.

Franklin explained the process of what happens if a player or staff member experiences a false positive.

“It’s test positive, get put in isolation,” Franklin said. “Retest, the test comes back negative later in the day, typically about half way through practice. The way we’re set up here in State College, our retesting is about an hour and 45 minutes away. So we have to drive it an hour and 45 minutes away, get a test, wait for the test results, and then bring them back.”

Franklin said the whole false positive dilemma can be an “emotional rollercoaster,” and sometimes at practice they have graduate assistants filling in for coaches who may have had a false positive.

At the end of the day, Franklin believes his team has to handle it the best they can and that every team’s situation is different.

“This is what 2020 has brought us,” Franklin said “We’ve gotta find a way to navigate it the best we can. But it’s not a level playing field across college football. It’s not the same. Some places are better, some places are worse, some places have more resources, some places have more challenges. It really depends.

“But at the end of the day, you gotta navigate it the best you can and you gotta find a way to be successful,” Franklin continued. “And that’s what we’re battling every single day to do.”

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About the Author

Gabe Angieri

Gabe is a junior majoring in journalism and is an associate editor for Onward State. He grew up in Lindenhurst, New York, and has had the absolute misfortune of rooting for the Jets, Mets, and Knicks. If you want to see his bad sports takes, follow him on Twitter @gabeangieri and direct all hate mail and death threats to [email protected]

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