University of Michigan Athletics On Hold

University of Michigan Athletics On Hold

The University of MI has paused "athletic activities in all sports, including games, team and individual training sessions, until further notice and up to 14 days".

The order, which halts all athletic activity including practice, is limited exclusively to U-M athletics after a recent influx of positive cases within several MI teams.

U-M Athletics South Complex opened in 2017 as a training gym for student teams. IU, 9-3 overall and 7-1 in conference play, has as many as 12 more regular season games left before the postseason. All these individuals are experiencing mild symptoms and are in isolation, and all close contacts have been tested and are in quarantine.

On Saturday, Michigan hosted a swim and dive tri-meet against Michigan State and Rutgers University in which Michigan topped both schools. The decision comes in the middle of turnover at the state Health Department.

That's how word spread that MI athletics were on hold.

Also on Saturday, the University of MI announced that five people associated with the Ann Arbor campus, located in Washentaw County, had tested positive for the variant.

IU will now play Ohio State at 8 p.m. Thursday in Bloomington at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, a game that was originally scheduled for February 4.

MI spokesperson Rick Fitzgerald and MI athletics spokesperson Kurt Svoboda were not immediately available for comment.

"Based on the department's testing policies, placing healthy students in quarantine is unnecessary and excessive", the statement said, in part. MacNeil received some reprieve when this week she was nominated as one of 6 pre-selected athletes for Canada's Tokyo2020 Olympic Team. MI basketball was scheduled to play a rescheduled game with Penn State on Jan 27. At the most recent NCAA Championship meet, in 2019, they finished in 3rd place, which was the team's best finish since 1996. The Michigan men finished in 13th place at the 2019 NCAA Championship meet. The No. 11-ranked women's team lost 81-77 to Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio, on Thursday.

The more contagious variant was first discovered in Britain.

There are now 551,080 total confirmed COVID-19 cases in MI, the state reported Monday. The state's death total since the beginning of the pandemic has reached 15,170 deaths. "Now we need to redouble our efforts by continuing to wear masks properly, socially distance, avoid crowds, washing hand (s) frequently, and make plans to get the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine once it is our turn". On Friday, Jan. 22, MI athletics announced 22 positive COVID-19 tests among student-athletes from Jan. 16-22.

No coaches or staff tested positive, according to student sportswriter Ethan Sears.

It's not clear who or how many Wolverines athletes are in that "coalition".

All Michigan student-athletes, coaches and team staff must quarantine from "Jan. 23 until further notice and up to 14 days", the university announced in a news release Saturday.

The Michigan Health and Human Services Department has issued a public release indicating, "B.1.1.7 spreads more easily between people, but there has been no indication that it affects the clinical outcomes or disease severity compared to the SARS-CoV-2 virus that has been circulating across the United States for months".

"The new variant is present in Michigan and we are at risk of seeing more spread of Covid-19", Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Resources, says in a weekend statement. 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. All teams and all staff were immediately required to cancel competition and training, and isolate for up to 14 days, through February 7.

The entire University of MI athletic department is pausing after several positive tests for the new COVID-19 variant that transmits at a higher rate. The university will be carefully considering additional mitigation measures.

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