DePaul pauses all men’s basketball activities due to positive Covid-19 test results

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Alexa Sandler | The DePaulia

DePaul head coach Dave Leitao talks to junior guard Charlie Moore during the Blue Demons’ 74-68 win over Georgetown on Feb. 22.

DePaul men’s basketball has announced that they will pause all team activities following positive Covid-19 test results among its tier one group. Tier one is the highest exposure tier and includes student-athletes, athletic trainers, physical therapists, medical staff, equipment staff and officials.

As a result, the Blue Demons’ first three games of the 2020-21 season will be canceled. The games were supposed to take place on Nov. 25, Nov. 28 and Dec. 1. Due to medical privacy reasons, the athletic department did not announce any of the affected student-athletes or staff. 

“We have been able to sustain a level of productivity while facing the Covid-19 pandemic during the preseason, but unfortunately as positive cases have been increasing all around us, we now have to deal with it directly in our program,” men’s basketball head coach Dave Leitao said in a statement. “The attentiveness and understanding of the situation by our players and staff have been a priority since we all returned to campus this summer. We’ll get through this together. We’ll return to the practice floor and competition after we complete all mandated protocols and procedures.” 

DePaul is the fourth Big East team to shut down team activities in the last couple of weeks due to positive Covid-19 tests. Marquette, UConn and Seton Hall are the other three programs.

Loyola-Chicago has also had to shut down recently because of positive tests within their program. 

“We are disappointed the men’s basketball program will be unable to start the season as planned after all the hard work our student-athletes, coaches, and staff have put into preparing for these games,” DePaul athletic director DeWayne Peevy said in a statement. “Flexibility and patience will continue to be paramount this season as we navigate these unique times. I appreciate the hard work and support of our medical staff and athletic trainers as they work closely with each of our programs to ensure a safe and healthy environment to study, train, practice and compete.”

DePaul is scheduled to travel to Iowa State on Dec. 6 as part of the Big East-Big 12 challenge. The Blue Demons are also scheduled to open up Big East play five days later when they travel to face Seton Hall before moving on to another road game against Villanova on Dec. 14.