Navy Restricts Movement of Midshipmen, Pauses Athletics Due to Increase in COVID-19 Cases

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Midshipmen prepare to dive into a pool at the U.S. Naval Academy.
Midshipmen walk in a line as they make their way to the five-meter platform to dive onto a pool at the end of a swim class at the U.S. Naval Academy, Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Annapolis, Md. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

The Naval Academy announced Sunday night it is pausing all athletic activities except for men's basketball for 10 days as the academy will be under a restriction of movement due to increased COVID-19 mitigation measures.

The men's basketball team, which earned the No. 1 seed with a win over Loyola Maryland on Sunday, will be allowed to participate in the Patriot League tournament starting Saturday because the team has been isolated from the rest of the Brigade of Midshipmen since last week.

The Navy women's basketball team on Friday had their weekend series against Loyola canceled due to COVID-related issues and will not participate in the Patriot League tournament. The Mids, who had 14 games affected by the virus, finish their season 5-7 overall and 5-3 in the league.

According to a news release, Superintendent Vice Adm. Sean Buck and other members of the academy's leadership addressed the Brigade, faculty and and coaches and outlined increased mitigation measures. Among the protocols are a return to a full restriction of movement, daily antigen coronavirus tests for all those considered close contacts, consuming meals in dorm rooms and a return to a remote classroom environment for at least 10 days.

"While our midshipman population is young and healthy, and likely able to rebound from COVID-19, there are still too many unknowns with COVID-19 to take this situation lightly," Buck wrote.

"We need this to be an all-hands effort from our faculty, staff, coaches ... this is not just a midshipman effort," Buck added. "Additionally, those who may have approved credentials to access the Yard — such as sponsors, parents, active/Reserve/retired military — shall refrain from visiting the Naval Academy, even to drop off deliveries, at this time in order to minimize the spread of this virus."

Currently, Navy's fall and spring sports, as well winter sports such as men's basketball and wrestling, are underway, and the 10-day shutdown will result in several postponements or cancellations.

This article is written by Tim Schwartz from The Capital, Annapolis, Md. and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the Industry Dive publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@industrydive.com.

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