The emergency coaches’ meeting scheduled for 2:30 Eastern Time on Wednesday on the University of Michigan campus has resulted in a decision to proceed with the meet as planned, beginning with the 200 medley relay and 800 free relay on Wednesday evening.
Preparations for the meet were put on hold when at least three members of the Michigan women’s team, along with several other athletes in the Athletics Department, became ill with what is believed, but not confirmed, to be Norovirus. Coaches have now been told that 3 Michigan swimmers and 1 Indiana diver have been quarantined through at least Thursday.
The timed-finals session will begin at 6:30. There was no diving scheduled for Wednesday, but the diver will miss at least one event on Thursday.
The Big Ten instructed all women’s teams to stay out of not only Michigan’s Canham Natatorium, but all other pools, including local high school pools, hotel pools, and pools at nearby colleges and universities. Meanwhile, University of Michigan staff cleaned the pool and took other precautions to help eliminate the threat of the disease spreading.
Final details are being nailed down, but for now the plan is for the meet to proceed on Wednesday evening. The Norovirus has an incubation period of between 12 and 48 hours, meaning that more cases could emerge as the meet progresses.
Update: The University of Michigan Athletics Department has released the following statement:
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The Big Ten Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships at Canham Natatorium will start at 6:30 p.m. as scheduled.
The University of Michigan and Big Ten Conference were notified of an illness among students on central campus, including members of the Michigan women’s swimming & diving program. The Big Ten Conference, University of Michigan athletic department and the University of Michigan Health System collaboratively assessed the situation and determined that Canham Natatorium was a safe environment for competitors and spectators.
Wednesday morning’s warmups were cancelled as Michigan Athletics worked with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to test water samples and chlorine levels, sanitize the pool and perform an additional deep clean of the facility as a precautionary measure.
With the approval from OSHA and medical personnel, the decision was made to begin the championships as scheduled. The Big Ten Conference and Michigan Athletics will continue to take all the necessary precautions to minimize the risk for competitors and spectators.
The University has also sent out an e-mail that the Ross Academic Center, a study space specifically for Michigan varsity athletes, is being quarantined from 4PM to 10PM on Wednesday