More good news surrounding the return of student athletes to campuses continues to be announced.
On Thursday, the South Eastern Conference shared that it will allow universities to resume voluntary in-person activities at the discretion of each university beginning on June 8. The decision was reached by the Conference’s Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force.
The activities will be under strict supervision of designated university personnel and safety guidelines developed by each institution.”The safe and healthy return of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators and our greater university communities have been and will continue to serve as our guiding principle as we navigate this complex and constantly-evolving situation,” said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey.
“At this time, we are preparing to begin the fall sports season as currently scheduled, and this limited resumption of voluntary athletic activities on June 8 is an important initial step in that process. Thanks to the blueprint established by our Task Force and the dedicated efforts of our universities and their athletics programs, we will be able to provide our student-athletes with far better health and wellness education, medical and psychological care and supervision than they would otherwise receive on their own while off campus or training at public facilities as states continue to reopen.”
The Task Force has also prepared a series of best practices for screening, testing, monitoring, tracing, social distancing and maintaining cleaned environments that will serve as roadmaps for each school upon the return of the student-athletes.
Recommended enhanced health and safety measures also include:
- Enhanced education of all team members on health and wellness best practices, including but not limited to preventing the spread of COVID-19
- A 3-stage screening process that involves screening before student-athletes arrive on campus, within 72 hours of entering athletics facilities and on a daily basis upon resumption of athletics activities
- Testing of symptomatic team members (including all student-athletes, coaches, team support and other appropriate individuals)
- Immediate isolation of team members who are under investigation or diagnosed with COVID-19 followed by contact tracing, following CDC and local public health guidelines
- A transition period that allows student-athletes to gradually adapt to full training and sport activity following a period of inactivity
For the month of June, the NCAA is only permitting strength and conditioning personnel to supervise voluntary on-campus athletic activities.
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Patrick Dowd is a Reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via Pat_Dowd77