The entire University of Michigan Athletic Department has been forced to shut down for at least two weeks due to an outbreak of the new Covid-19 variant.

The Michigan Department of Health & Human Services ordered the shut down after several members of the U of M Athletic Department tested positive for the new variant. The MDHHS is being more aggressive with their orders due to the evidence that the variant is more easily spread. That means that U of M will have no athletic activities, including practice, for at least 14 days.

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Michigan Athletic Director, Warde Manuel talked about how hard it is to shut down all of the athletics in a press release.

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

Obviously safety is the first priority for everyone at U of M, but this shutdown comes at a tough time. The Winter sports are in the middle of a very busy season, and the U of M Mens Basketball team has been rolling.

Right now the pause is scheduled to run through February 7th, but that could easily be extended if more cases of the variant are confirmed. This is a perfect example of how close we are to another spike in cases in our area. With schools going back face to face, plus restrictions lessening, the variant could wreak havoc on our case count. Hopefully this pause will be enough, and everyone that has tested positive will make a full and quick recovery.


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