The University of Michigan was hit with a serious roadblock on Saturday night. After a recent influx of COVID-19 cases among several Wolverine teams, Michigan has placed a two-week pause on all athletic activities.
As first reported by The Michigan Daily, the order from the state health department will go into effect immediately -- going from Jan. 23 and continuing for at least 14 days. All in person activities, including practice or any other meetings, will be brought to a halt.
Sources indicate that the Michigan athletic program now has five confirmed and 15 presumed positives for the new B.1.1.7 variant of COVID-19 that originated in the United Kingdom just a few months ago, and is believed to be an even more easily transmitted variant. According to a press release from UM athletics, 22 student-athletes tested positive for the original COVID-19 virus this past week. The prior week, there were 13 more.
During the 14-day pause, all athletes, coaches and staff are expected to quarantine regardless of their COVID-19 status. Here's the official statement from the University of Michigan athletics department:
This news of course effects affects the No. 7 ranked Michigan men's basketball program. At 13-1 on the season, the Wolverines are in the midst of their hottest start in years. Prior to this major setback, the team only had one game postponed due to COVID-19 concerns.
Maybe it's best that Michigan gets their virus issues out of the way now. With some newly-updated COVID-19 restrictions, all NCAA teams will be required to pass some pretty stringent tests in order to be eligible for this year's March Madness.
Stay tuned for updates on the developing situation in Ann Arbor.