Gophers football game vs. Northwestern canceled due to ongoing growth in COVID-19 cases

In this Oct. 26, 2019, file photo, Minnesota head coach P.J. Fleck leads him team on the field prior to an NCAA college football game against Maryland, in Minneapolis. Penn State (8-0) plays against Minnesota (8-0) on Saturday, Nov. 9. Photo: AP Photo/Stacy Bengs, File. In this Oct. 26, 2019, file photo, Minnesota head coach P.J. Fleck leads him team on the field prior to an NCAA college football game against Maryland, in Minneapolis. Penn State (8-0) plays against Minnesota (8-0) on Saturday, Nov. 9.

Tommy Wiita
Updated: November 30, 2020 11:53 AM
Created: November 30, 2020 11:50 AM

The University of Minnesota's football team is canceling its Saturday matchup against Northwestern University due to a continuing growth of COVID-19 positive cases.

The game was scheduled to be played at TCF Bank Stadium. This comes a week after the program canceled its matchup against the University of Wisconsin.

The decision to cancel the game against Northwestern was made by Director of Athletics Mark Coyle, President Joan Gabel and Gopher Athletics' Medical Director Dr. Brad Nelson after consulting with the Big Ten Conference.

Gophers football program reports 15 more positive COVID-19 cases

“The health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and staff continues to be our main priority,” Coyle said in a statement on Monday. “The last couple of days have shown a decrease in positive cases, but not to the point where we are able to return to competition. We are disappointed not to be able to compete against Northwestern on Saturday, but we need to continue to focus on following all CDC and MDH guidelines and slow the spread of the virus. We will now shift our priority to doing everything possible to compete at Nebraska on Dec. 12, and our decisions will continue to be guided by our medical experts.”

In addition to the Big Ten's established daily antigen testing, Minnesota announced last week that it was implementing additional PCR testing. The university will also conduct all meetings virtually for the remaining duration of the season.

Gophers football program pauses team activities amid positive COVID-19 tests, provides update

On Nov. 24, Minnesota first announced a pause in all team-related activities after 15 individuals (nine student-athletes and six staff members) tested positive for COVID-19 during a five-day span from Nov. 19 to Nov. 23. The program also announced 10 additional positive tests (three student-athletes and seven staff members) on Nov. 25 and an additional 15 positive tests (eight student-athletes and seven staff members) on Monday.

Since Nov. 19, the program has experienced 47 positive cases, which includes 21 student-athletes and 26 staff (anyone in daily testing who is not a student-athlete) members.


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