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Michigan Athletics on pause for 14 days due to COVID-19 variant concerns

Unfortunate news out of Ann Arbor.

NCAA Football: Minnesota at Michigan Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Per a report from the Michigan Daily, all University of Michigan athletics will be paused for two weeks starting on Sunday January 24. Anthony Broome and Von Lozon of Maize n Brew have both confirmed this report.

Per Ethan Sears, “a source told The Daily that there were five confirmed cases of the new COVID-19 B.1.1.7 variant, with 15 more presumed positives throughout the athletic department. The novel strain was first introduced at the beginning of the semester by a U-M athlete from the United Kingdom. All members of the athletic department are expected to quarantine for 14 days.”

This means the men’s and women’s basketball teams won’t be playing or practicing, as well as hockey, volleyball, and every other sport. This pause comes at a time where there’s been a surge in cases in the Ann Arbor area. It had been previously reported, on January 16, that the new coronavirus variant was linked to the University of Michigan.

It remains to be seen whether this will be just a two week pause, or if the stoppage will extend beyond that window. This past week Michigan reported 22 students tested positive for COVID-19, an increase of 13 from the week prior.

The new COVID-19 variant is thought to be more easily transmissible, and more lethal. A bad combination that is creating major concern. Michigan is clearly taking a cautious approach, and it’s likely other universities will follow suit when faced with the same situation.

We’ll have more on this when new information surfaces.