University of Michigan stay-in-place order won't impact Wolverines athletics

The Washtenaw County Health Department issued a stay-in-place order Tuesday for University of Michigan undergraduate students beginning immediately because of 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 running until Nov. 3, the health department said that any students who are associated with intercollegiate varsity sports may attend practices and competitions.

The order says that athletic medical staff must be present during the entire process and that a staff member "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 said there is evidence that the increased cases have been driven by social gatherings on campus. Before students moved on 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 Friday, reporting that 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 results. Wolverines football coach Jim Harbaugh told reporters Monday that there are currently no players who will be held out Saturday because of COVID-19 protocols.