UConn women pausing team activities due to positive COVID-19 test

Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma during the first half of an NCAA women's basketball game, last year in Hartford.

Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma during the first half of an NCAA women’s basketball game, last year in Hartford.

Jessica Hill / AP

UConn women’s basketball has paused all team activities and canceled its first four games of the season after a member of the program tested positive for COVID-19, the school announced Monday night.

Per university protocol, team activities will be on hold for at least 14 days and will resume when it is deemed safe by medical professionals.

Tier 1 personnel — consisting of players, coaches and staff — have been tested three times per week, per NCAA recommendations. UConn did not identify the person who tested positive.

The Huskies, ranked No. 3 in the Associated Press Preseason Top 25 poll, were slated to play Quinnipiac and either No. 6 Mississippi State or Maine this Saturday and Sunday, respectively, at Mohegan Sun as part of the Hall of Fame Challenge. Fifth-ranked Louisville (Dec. 4) and Seton Hall (Dec. 6), whose program is also currently paused, were to follow. Those games, however, have been scratched from the schedule.

A handful of teams across the country also announced a delayed start to the season Monday — including those scheduled for Bubbleville.

The school said any schedule adjustments will be announced at a later date. Adding nonconference games could be complex, though.

UConn coach Geno Auriemma had been cautiously optimistic about starting the season on time, saying earlier this month: “So far, we’ve done everything that we’ve been asked to do. I’m confident, obviously. We’re all confident. Are we sure? No, but we’re confident.

“We believe that come Nov. 28, we’re going to be playing Quinnipiac at Mohegan Sun.”

Assuming no changes, UConn may now need to wait until Dec. 15 to get its season underway. That’s when the Huskies are scheduled to host Butler in Big East play.

The Huskies were already dealing with uncertainty, with seven new players on the roster — six freshman and a newly eligible transfer.

This comes less than a week after the school’s men’s basketball team returned to the court after a two-week shutdown of its own due to a positive test. During that time, players were allowed to train inside the Werth Champions Center, but could only enter the gym with one roommate.

dbonjour@ctpost.com; @DougBonjour