Six players and six staff members have returned positive tests, including head coach Paul Chryst. The Badgers' game against Nebraska on Saturday will not be played or rescheduled as a result.
"We have said from the beginning that the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, and staff members come first," athletic director Barry Alvarez said in a statement. "Over the past several days we have seen a rising number of student-athletes and staff contract the virus. The responsible thing for us to do is to pause football-related activities for at least seven days."
"I am disappointed for our players and coaching staff who put so much into preparing to play each week," Chryst added. "But the safety of everyone in our program has to be our top priority and I support the decision made to pause our team activities."
Third-string quarterback Chase Wolf also tested positive. He and Mertz would be eligible to return to the Badgers on Nov. 14.
Wisconsin's next game is scheduled for Nov. 7 against Purdue.