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Harvard plays Princton in February 2020. Photo: John Jones/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Ivy League has canceled its winter sports for the 2020-21 season, the conference's Council of Presidents said on Thursday.

Driving the news: The announcement comes as states across the U.S. see a surge in new coronavirus cases.

Details: In addition to canceling the winter sports season, the conference postponed the spring sports season through at least February 2021.

  • There will also be no competition for fall sports during the upcoming spring semester.
  • Training and practices will be allowed to continue, "provided they are structured in accordance with each institution’s procedures and applicable state and local regulations."
  • Affected student-athletes will not lose a season of Ivy League or NCAA eligibility, regardless of whether they enroll, the conference said.
  • The council added it would continue to "monitor and evaluate the public health climate and consider changes to policies when warranted in order to return to more normal campus operations."

What they're saying: "The unanimous decisions by the Ivy League Council of Presidents follow extended consideration of options and strategies to mitigate the transmission of the COVID-19 virus, an analysis of current increasing rates of COVID-19 – locally, regionally and nationally – and the resulting need to continue the campus policies related to travel, group size and visitors to campus that safeguard the campus and community," the conference said in a statement.

  • "Regrettably, the current trends regarding transmission of the COVID-19 virus and subsequent protocols that must be put in place are impeding our strong desire to return to intercollegiate athletics competition in a safe manner."
  • The council also said that student athletes, coaches and their families "are again being asked to make enormous sacrifices for the good of public health — and we do not make this decision lightly."

Go deeper: The third coronavirus wave means even more sports uncertainty

Go deeper

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: CDC prepares tougher testing rules for international travelers — U.S. on the lookout for Omicron casesFDA panel backs Merck's antiviral COVID pill.
  2. Politics: Biden says fight against Omicron won't include "shutdowns or lockdowns" — Two federal judges temporarily block Biden vaccine mandates.
  3. Vaccines: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Pentagon denies Oklahoma National Guard request for exemption from vaccine mandate.
  4. World: Omicron variant detected in more countriesWHO advises people 60 or older to postpone travel due to Omicron — COVID-19 "radically altered mobility" globally, UN says.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Jan 29, 2021 - Health

NYC set to restart indoor dining in February, weddings in March

Outdoor dining in New York City in January. Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that if the current coronavirus positivity in New York City holds, indoor dining will reopen at 25% capacity on Feb. 14, one of the busiest dining days of the year.

Why it matters: The forced closure of indoor dining in December caused major backlash, as New York's struggling restaurant industry had already been hit hard by pandemic restrictions. Restaurants will still be required to close at 1o p.m.

Jan 29, 2021 - Health

J&J says its one-shot vaccine is 66% effective against moderate to severe COVID

Photo: Thiago Prudêncio/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Johnson & Johnson announced Friday that its single-shot coronavirus vaccine was 66% effective in protecting against moderate to severe COVID-19 disease in Phase 3 trials, which was comprised of nearly 44,000 participants across eight countries.

Between the lines: The vaccine was 72% effective in the U.S., but only 57% effective in South Africa, where a more contagious variant has been spreading. It prevented 85% of severe infections and 100% of hospitalizations and deaths, according to the company.