BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – The Colorado Buffaloes are set to open their abbreviated 2020 season at Folsom Field on Nov. 7. On Thursday, officials announced the Buffs will stay at a hotel near the facilities for at least the first two weeks of camp in an attempt to create a mini-bubble and monitor the players’ exposure to outside contacts.
Boulder County is currently under a Public Health Order which has enacted a ban for all 18-to-22-year-olds from gatherings of larger than two people. The order is aimed at the University of Colorado student body and intended to lower the transmission rate of the COVID-19 virus.
On Tuesday, Boulder County health officials said the community is making progress to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Bringing the county’s 14-day positivity rate to 4.9%, which is down from 5.4% the week before.
Even with the positive trend, Colorado Buffaloes head football coach Karl Dorrell isn’t sure if he will be able to begin fall practice on Friday.
“We’ve been working each and every day with Boulder County giving them all the reports and all the things that we’ve been doing,” Dorrell said on a conference call.
“They’ve been very pleased with us being stewards of operating under their guidelines and we’re going to continue to do that because we want to do what’s right. We want to do what’s right here in Boulder County and do it in a way that’s going to give us a chance to lineup and play this next month.”
According to Brian Howell with Buffzone, the Colorado Buffaloes athletic department has submitted a plan to Boulder County Public Health for protocols on controlling the spread on COVID-19 within its department. CU is hopeful they will hear a response within the next 24 hours.
Colorado athletics has submitted a plan to Boulder County Public Health for protocols on controlling the spread of COVID-19 within its dept. BCPH exec. director Jeff Zayach said he anticipates responding to CU within the next 24 hours. #cubuffs hoping to start practice Friday.
— Brian Howell (@BrianHowell33) October 7, 2020
But what happens if the health order is extended past Thursday and the football team doesn’t receive an exemption to practice in full groups? Dorrell didn’t indicate that he would move practice outside of Boulder, rather he would hold them in small groups or ‘pods’ of 10 players.
“The goal is that we can put all those ‘pods’ together in one whole 11-on-11 unit and hopefully be able to execute and perform the way we need to. If that ends up being the case, we’re going to have to operate that way the best we can and we’ll see how it works.
“We all know it’s not the norm to do that but we would operate and do whatever we can do that fits the guidelines and expectations of what they are asking us to do,” Dorrell said.