Coronavirus: Ohio State-Illinois football game canceled due to spikes in COVID-19

Third-ranked Ohio State canceled Saturday’s college football game at Illinois due to a coronavirus outbreak in the Buckeyes’ program, university officials said Friday night.

>> Read more trending news

The team has also paused all team-related activities indefinitely, the university said in a news release.

This is the second time this season that Ohio State (4-0) has canceled a game, ESPN reported. The Buckeyes were unable to play at Maryland on Nov. 14 because of COVID-19 cases within the Terrapins’ program.

For Ohio State to compete in the Big Ten championship game, the Buckeyes must play -- and win -- their Dec. 5 game at Michigan State and at home Dec. 12 against Michigan, according to ESPN. Conference rules specify that teams must play at least six games in this truncated season to be eligible for the conference championship game, The Associated Press reported.

The decision to cancel and pause was made jointly by Director of Athletics Gene Smith, University President Kristina M. Johnson, and head team physician Jim Borchers after consulting with Big Ten Conference officials.

“We have continued to experience an increase in positive tests over the course of this week,” Smith said in a statement. “The health, safety and well-being of our student-athlete is our main concern, and our decisions on their welfare will continue to be guided by our medical staff.”

The cancellation came several hours after Ohio State announced that coach Ryan Day tested positive and would not travel to Champaign, Illinois, for the noon ET kickoff, the AP reported. Day is the 19th major-college football coach this year to publicly reveal testing positive for COVID-19.

“The program will resume its team activities when its medical staff determines it is safe to do so based on protocols established by the Big Ten Conference,” the university said.

More coronavirus pandemic coverage:

>> Coronavirus: CDC acknowledges airborne transmission of COVID-19

>> Is it COVID-19, flu, cold or allergies? What is causing you to feel sick this year

>> Coronavirus: CDC updates guidance for COVID-19 testing

>> Dangerous hand sanitizer list up to more than 150 products, FDA announces

>> Wash your masks: How to clean a cloth face covering

>> Fact check: Will masks lower the oxygen level, raise the carbon dioxide in your blood?

>> How to not let coronavirus pandemic fatigue set in, battle back if it does

mobile apps

Everything you love about and more! Tap on any of the buttons below to download our app.

amazon alexa

Enable our Skill today to listen live at home on your Alexa Devices!