The decision is based on positive test results for SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7, a variant that is viewed as 30 to 80 percent more transmissible than the original virus strain. First discovered in Kent, England from samples taken in September, it has rushed across Europe and spread more than health officials expected from the original coronavirus due to restrictions imposed by the UK and other countries. As the Washington Post reported on Friday, Danish scientists have seen a 70 percent increase per week in cases involving the variant despite a strict lockdown.

It first appeared in the United States in Colorado in late December. As of January 6, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in five states had reported 52 cases in the country. While experts have viewed the presence of a variant as a predictable development and there has been no evidence of increased virulence, there are concerns that the ability to infect more people would lead to more illness, hospitalizations and deaths.

“Canceling competitions is never something we want to do,” Michigan sports director Warde Manuel said in the statement, “but with so many unknowns about this variant of COVID-19, we must do everything we can to minimize its spread among athletes . ” , Coaches, staff and athletes from other schools. “The statement says:” Team members (student athletes, trainers and team members) must isolate / quarantine immediately from January 23rd and until further notice and up to 14 days (February 7th). “

The most visible teams affected are the Michigan basketball teams, which rose sharply earlier this season. The men rank 7th on the Associated Press poll on the 13-1 win, including one-sided wins over three Big Ten teams since New Years. The women are in 11th place and suffered their first defeat on Thursday (No. 17 in the state of Ohio) after 10 wins at the start of the season.

The men’s break in sporting activity left the men postponing four games ahead: Wednesday in Penn State, January 30 at home against Indiana, February 3 in Northwestern, and February 6 at home against Michigan State Home game against Illinois on February 11th.

The women had to postpone six games: at home against Purdue on Sunday, in the state of Michigan on Tuesday, against the state of Michigan on Thursday, in Rutgers on February 1, at home against Minnesota on February 4, and at home against Maryland on March 7. February. The women have a game in Purdue next on their schedule for February 11th.

Saturday’s announcement marked the virus’s final blow in college basketball season, where schedules were routinely disrupted. Duke and Virginia were among the women’s teams that canceled their season altogether. It follows the cancellation of the NCAA men’s and women’s tournaments last season in the early days of the pandemic. This year’s events are set to take place in one region – the men in the Indianapolis region and the women who are expected to focus on San Antonio.

Other university sports from The Post:

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