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Southern Miss coach Walden tests positive for COVID-19

HATTIESBURG — Southern Miss’s football program seems unable to shake free of the COVID-19 virus.

Southern Miss interim head coach Scott Walden tested positive for COVID-19 Tuesday morning and his status remains unclear for this weekend’s non-conference game at Liberty, the university announced.

Walden left the Duff Athletic Center Tuesday morning to self-isolate at his home after a positive antigen test came back for COVID-19. The Golden Eagle coach will take a PCR test (Polymeras Chain Reaction) on Wednesday to confirm his status.

Until then, Walden will oversee the squad’s activities remotely from home.

“Earlier this morning I tested positive for COVID-19,” Walden said in a statement. “I am fine and have mild to no symptoms. I am quarantining back home until it is safe to rejoin the team. I want to thank Golden Eagle Nation for all of their support for our program during this difficult period. I want to thank our players and staff for continuing to be incredibly resilient during such an unstable time.

“Our team will continue to work diligently in preparation for our game this Saturday against Liberty,” Walden added.

Southern Miss is scheduled to play Liberty this Saturday at noon. It will be USM’s first game since beating North Texas 41-31 on Oct. 3.

Southern Miss has had its last two games postponed because of COVID-19 outbreaks — one among Florida Atlantic’s players that scrubbed a game on Oct. 10, and another among its own roster that scuttled last weekend’s road game at UTEP.

During his weekly video press conference on Monday, Walden said there were more than 20 players on Southern Miss’ roster that would have missed the game against UTEP because they either tested positive or needed to be quarantined.