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Illinois Football Coach Bret Bielema Tests Positive For COVID, Will Miss Game Vs. Iowa

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (CBS/AP) — Illinois Fighting Illini football coach Bret Bielema will miss the upcoming game against the No. 18 Iowa Hawkeyes on Saturday, after he tested positive for COVID-19.

Assistant head coach George McDonald will be the team's acting head coach for Saturday's matchup.

Bielema began feeling mild symptoms Monday night, prompting him to get tested on Tuesday.

"I'm disappointed that I will not be with our team this week when we travel to Iowa, but I'm grateful that I'm vaccinated and received the booster shot last week," he said in a statement.

Bielema said without elaborating that "through technology" he would be "as present as possible" for the Iowa game. Bielema said he hoped to return to the team next week.

Athletic director Josh Whitman said the athletic department medical staff was monitoring the team and that precautions have been taken to limit a potential spread within the program.

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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