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Washington women’s basketball pauses team activities due to COVID-19

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Washington women’s basketball pauses team activities due to COVID-19

Alaska Airlines Arena stands empty on March 21, 2020, nine days after the NCAA announced they would cancel all winter and spring championships due to the Coronavirus. The women's basketball team paused team activities due to COVID-19 issues Jan. 6

The Washington women’s basketball program has postponed its Jan. 8 matchup with No. 7 Arizona and paused team activities due to “recent COVID-19 impacts” within the UW program. 

The announcement comes just a day after the Huskies’ (4-5, 1-5 Pac-12) Jan. 10 game against Arizona State was postponed due to cases within ASU’s program. According to statements released by Washington Athletics, the Pac-12 will work with all the programs to reschedule the matchups. 

According to the UW Athletics spokesman Jay Hilbrands, there are three active COVID-19 cases among Washington’s 568 student-athletes as of Jan. 7. The individuals who tested positive are now quarantining and undergoing UW COVID-19 protocols. 

Washington had kept COVID-19 out of the program since gameplay began a month ago, but the pandemic had impacted the group before the recent batch of cancellations. Junior guard T.T. Watkins chose to opt out of the season due to COVID-19 concerns before the season began, and Washington’s first postponement of the season came Dec. 21 when a matchup against Oregon State was pushed back due to COVID-19 issues for the Beavers.

The women’s basketball team now becomes the third UW Athletics program to pause all team activities since the return of college sports in November 2020. The baseball team was the first group impacted by COVID-19, as it cancelled pre-season workouts Nov. 21.

The football team also had several players go through contact tracing ahead of its Dec. 5 loss to Stanford, before pausing team activities Dec. 9 and falling below the minimum players needed to play Oregon Dec. 12. Washington also missed out on the Pac-12 Championship game against USC Dec. 18 and declined to participate in a bowl game

Under updated King County guidelines, the length of time for which team activities will remain paused will depend on contract tracing, the number of infected players, and whether or not those with positive tests are displaying symptoms. 

Assuming there are one or more active cases on the team, team activities will likely be paused until the players not displaying symptoms quarantine for at least seven days and receive a negative test, and active cases quarantine for 14 days and also receive a negative test. 

Pending no other difficulties, the team may resume as early as a week from now, but next week’s matchups against UCLA and USC are up in the air. 

Reach reporter Sydney Nash at Twitter: @sydneym_nash

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