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. It came as a directive from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services mandated the suspension to prevent additional spread of the B.1.1.7 variant, which was first identified in Britain and is considered to be 50% more transmissible than the original strain of the virus.
Wayne's County case isn't tied to the U-M diagnoses, which shows the strain is spreading locally from multiple soures. That's up 3,011 cases and 35 deaths since Friday.
It first turned up within the United States in Colorado in late December. It's also believed that the existing COVID-19 vaccines still work against it.
The entire MI sports department, including its men's basketball team in the middle of a banner season, takes a two-week hiatus after officials discovered cases of a COVID-19 variant in the department, the school announced Saturday. Team members (student-athletes, coaches, and team staff) must immediately isolate/quarantine effective January 23 until further notice and up to 14 days (Feb. 7).
The most visible teams affected are the MI basketball teams, which have soared early this season.
The Michigan men are the defending Big Ten Champions, though repeating would be a tall task this year as they graduated more than twice as many points as the next-closest team. The No. 11-ranked women's team lost 81-77 to Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio, on Thursday.
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.
No determination has been made on how the pause may impact scheduled games beyond February 7.
Saturday's announcement was the latest blow from the virus on the college basketball season, which has seen schedules routinely disrupted, with Duke and Virginia among the women's teams that have canceled their seasons altogether.
Officials have been warning the public since last week that at least one case of B.1.1.7. was in Washtenaw County.