Second-year Ohio State head coach Ryan Day has tested positive for COVID-19, the school announced on Friday afternoon.
Due to the positive test, Day would have been forced to miss Saturday's game against Illinois, but the game was canceled due to an increase in positive COVID-19 cases within Ohio State's football program.
If the Buckeyes are able to return to action against Michigan State next week, Day will miss that game as he must isolate for 10 days in accordance with CDC guidelines. Day will be able to return to the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on Dec. 7, the Monday before the Michigan game.
In Day's place, defensive line coach Larry Johnson will serve as interim head coach.
The athletic department confirmed an "increased number of positive tests this week for the coronavirus" which it says is "in contrast" to testing throughout the season.
Players who test positive for COVID-19 must sit out at least 21 days before returning to competition, meaning anybody positive this week will have to miss the last three games of the regular season. Coaches who have confirmed positives have to be away from their team for a minimum of 10.
“I have spoken with Coach Day, and he is doing well physically,” athletic director Gene Smith said in a statement. “I feel terrible 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 handling things so well throughout this pandemic. Our team wants to play this game, and we’re going to do everything we can to help make this happen. All of the decisions on the welfare of our student-athletes and staff members will continue to be guided by our medical staff.”
Sending thoughts and support to @ryandaytime, players and coaching staff whove tested positive for COVID-19. Health & safety protocols of @OhioStateFB & @bigten are 1st rate, our student athletes & coaching staff have worked so hard. Keep up the fight.https://t.co/37Qyc7xUTD— Kristina M. Johnson (@PresKMJohnson) November 27, 2020
Day follows Purdue's Jeff Brohm, Wisconsin's Paul Chryst and Maryland's Mike Locksley as the fourth Big Ten head coach to publicly announce a positive coronavirus test.
Ohio State opted not to release a status report at 10 a.m. Friday for the first time since implementing it at the beginning of the 2019 season.