A general view during a men's basketball game between St....

A general view during a men's basketball game between St. John's and Creighton at Carnesecca Arena in Queens on March 1, 2020. Credit: Steven Ryan

St. John’s announced on Monday that it will not be playing the two Big East games scheduled for this week because of "COVID-19 health and safety protocols," according to the school release.

The Red Storm (8-3) were scheduled to host Marquette on Wednesday night and play at Georgetown on New Year’s Day. The Big East will seek to reschedule both contests. These postponements make four straight scheduled games that the Red Storm have not played.

St. John’s game on Dec. 20 at Seton Hall, its conference opener, was postponed because of COVID issues within the Pirates’ program. Its Dec. 23 game against Butler at Carnesecca Arena was postponed because St. John’s had an outbreak of positive tests and couldn’t field the minimum seven scholarship athletes.

Unlike some other programs that have announced their programs were "on pause" and had suspended all basketball activities, St. John’s athletic director Mike Cragg said players who don’t have to isolate are "having workouts."

The COVID protocols have involved 10 days of isolation, after which a player must test negative and clear cardiac testing. The NCAA soon could shorten the isolation period to five days, as the CDC did on Monday.

Leading scorer Julian Champagnie was out in the last game the Red Storm played — a two-point loss to Pittsburgh at the Garden — because he had tested positive.

Georgetown announced on Dec. 20 that its program is paused because of COVID protocols. More than 60 NCAA Division I programs already have been paused this season because of the pandemic.

The next game on St. John’s schedule will be Jan. 5 at home against DePaul. The Blue Demons currently are in a pause because of COVID protocols.

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