Michigan athletic department on pause because of COVID-19

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — The entire University of Michigan athletic department is pausing because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The state Department of Health and Human Services issued the mandate Saturday, with the school saying it follows positive COVID-19 tests for several individuals in the athletic department. They had the new variant that transmits at a higher rate. The entire department could be in quarantine for two weeks.

The 11th-ranked women’s basketball was set to play at home against Purdue on Sunday. That was one of four athletic events the school had scheduled. The men’s tennis team was hosting a tournament while women’s tennis was in Atlanta. The men’s gymnastics event at Nebraska was also postponed.

The seventh-ranked men’s basketball team wasn’t supposed to play until Wednesday at Penn State.

“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,” athletic director Warde Manuel said.