Northwestern’s women’s basketball game against Oregon scheduled for Tuesday night will not take place due to multiple positive COVID-19 test results within the NU program, according to a release from the team.
The cancelation of the Wildcats’ contest against the Ducks marks the second time in less than a week that a signature non-conference game at Welsh-Ryan Arena has been called off. The men’s team’s game against DePaul set for this past Saturday was also canceled, though that cancellation was due to positive tests within the Blue Demons’ program.
The two cancelations have only been a small part of a wave of chaos unleashed on the sports world by the emergence of the Omicron variant, which, according to the CDC, has caused breakthrough cases to skyrocket en route to becoming the dominant variant of the virus in the United States. Northwestern University announced in the spring that full vaccination against the virus would be required for all faculty, staff and students who will work or participate in programs on-campus for the 2021-22 academic year. On Monday, the university announced that classes would shift to remote modality for the first two weeks of the upcoming Winter Quarter due to the uptick in cases and that all students, faculty and staff are now required to receive a booster shot by January 30, 2022 (barring “limited exceptions”). In response to an inquiry from Inside NU, Northwestern Athletics said on Monday night that students “will not be permitted to access athletic events on campus with their Wildcard” during the two-week remote instruction period but that, at this point in time, it is “not anticipating any schedule changes or conflicts for programs in season.”
The contest against Oregon was Northwestern’s last scheduled non-conference game of the season. It remains to be seen whether the Wildcats will be able to compete when the bulk of its Big Ten schedule starts with a road clash against Minnesota on New Year’s Eve. The program has said that it will keep the public updated on potential further schedule changes “as we know more.”