Michigan athletics paused two weeks due to COVID-19 variant

Michigan athletics has been placed on a two-week pause starting Sunday due to positive tests for a variant of the COVID-19 virus, the university announced Saturday night.

That means the No. 7 Wolverines basketball team, currently sitting in first place in the Big Ten, will need to postpone and reschedule at least four games — Penn State (Jan. 27), Indiana (Jan. 30), Northwestern (Feb. 3), and Michigan State (Feb. 6).

Michigan is 13-1 overall, 8-1 in the conference.

“The mandate follows positive test results for the SAR-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 variant virus infections from several individuals linked to the U-M Athletic Department through its diligent testing regiment,” Michigan said in a statement posted to its website.

“Therefore, a pause of all athletic activities and a closure of all U-M athletic facilities are being taken to strengthen the public health intervention,” the statement said. “Team members (student-athletes, coaches, and team staff) must immediately isolate/quarantine effective Jan. 23 until further notice and up to 14 days (Feb. 7).”

The Michigan Daily, the student newspaper, reported there are five confirmed cases of the variant with 15 more presumed positives throughout the athletic department.

“Canceling competitions is never something we want to do, but with so many unknowns about this variant of COVID-19, we must do everything we can to minimize the spread among student-athletes, coaches, staff, and to the student-athletes at other schools,” Michigan athletics director Warde Manuel said in the statement.

–Field Leve Media

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