The Washtenew County Health Department issued a stay in place order Tuesday for University of Michigan undergraduate students beginning immediately due to a rise in COVID-19 cases, but the order will not impact athletic activity at this time.
The Michigan football team travels to Minnesota for its season opener Saturday. Despite the stay in place order ending on Nov. 3, the health department stated any students who are associated with intercollegiate varsity sports may attend practices and competitions.
The order says athletic medical staff must be present during the entire process and “Actively supervises the team’s COVID-19 mitigation activities during the practice, has the authority to suspend the practice if he or she believes COVID-19 mitigation practices require that result, and testing is conducted per governing athletic organizations’ (i.e. Big 10) policies.”
As of Monday, Washtenaw County — where the University of Michigan is located — has had 4,229 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and there have been more than 1,000 confirmed cases among students at the Ann Arbor campus since the start of the fall semester.
The health department says there is current evidence the activity has been driven by social gatherings on campus. Prior to students moving in to Michigan’s campus, the university accounted for 2% of the total Washtenaw County cases. At the time of the order, university-related cases were 61% of the county’s cases.
The Michigan athletic department updated its testing numbers last Friday, reporting 1,559 tests were conducted on student-athletes, coaches and staff from Oct. 10 to Oct. 16 with 11 positive test results.
The athletic department has conducted a total of 11,889 tests, and has had 104 positive tests. Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh told reporters Monday that there are currently no players that will be held out Saturday due to COVID-19 protocols.