The NCAA says the ability to assess immunity on a college campus and have “reliable, rapid diagnostic testing” available for anyone suspected of having COVID-19 are key principles for restarting college sports, according to a document released Friday.
The requirements released by the NCAA and put together by its COVID-19 advisory panel of medical and public health experts weaves together the White House’s “Opening Up America Again” guidelines with how they will apply to a campus and college sports setting.
Key among the nine “core principles of resocialization of collegiate sport” is that universities should have plans for temperature checks, testing, isolating and contact tracing and acquiring adequate protective equipment for athletics health care providers.
“It is also important to take into consideration that there will not be a quick, single day of re-emergence into society,” NCAA chief medical officer Dr. Brian Hainline said. “We will re-emerge in a manner that recognizes COVID-19 will be around until there is an effective vaccine, treatment or both. That is why resocialization should be rolled out in a phased way that helps assure sustained low infection spread, as well as aids in the ability to quickly diagnose and isolate new cases.”
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The NCAA says that gyms and common areas where athletes and staff could congregate should not be open until Phase Three of the federal guidelines.
Thus, the NCAA’s plan acknowledges that different athletic facilities will be operational at different times based on what is happening at the local level.
“For each member institution, that return will come at a different time and will certainly take a different form,” the NCAA said in the release.
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