Southern Utah women’s basketball shuts down one day after men’s due to positive COVID-19 tests

Members of Southern Utah basketball, date and location not specified | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah University athletics, Cedar City News

ST. GEORGE — The Thunderbird women’s basketball program has paused all activities following multiple positive COVID-19 tests amongst their tier 1 individuals. Tier 1 individuals are players, coaches and staff that have direct contact with the players and coaches.

According to a press release Southern Utah University issued Wednesday, the team will no longer be hosting Montana State on Thursday or Saturday. At this time, Big Sky Conference basketball games that are canceled will not be rescheduled.

“We knew that this might be something that we would be dealing with following the holiday season, so we are not surprised, but we are disappointed that our women’s team will be unable to play this weekend,” SUU Athletic Director Debbie Corum said in the statement. “Obviously, our main concern right now is taking care of the individuals that tested positive. Our top priority is that these student-athletes receive the proper care.”

The news comes the day after the men’s program paused due to a single positive test in its tier 1 group. Further south, Dixie State University was missing at least four players on Tuesday night at No. 1 Gonzaga due to COVID-19 protocols.

This is the second time the SUU women’s program shut down, missing two games at University of Montana Dec. 3 and Dec. 5 due to COVID protocols. Positive tests both inside and outside the T-Birds’ program has resulted in six game cancelations to this point, encompassing the team’s first four scheduled Big Sky conference games. The men’s team had one game canceled due to coronavirus protocols in the Southwestern Assemblies of God University American Indian College program on Dec. 18, but had avoided internal causes for cancelation until Tuesday.

Fans who have purchased tickets for this weekend’s contests will be offered a full refund or the option to exchange their tickets for a future home contest, according to SUU’s statement.

The Lady T-Birds will aim to continue their season next week as they are scheduled to travel to Moscow, Idaho to play the Vandals on Jan. 7 and Jan. 9.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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