SPORTS

NCAA Return To Sport Depends On National Trajectory Of COVID-19 Spread

Jul 16, 2020, 1:33 PM
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)...
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The NCAA released an updated version of their return to sport guidelines in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brian Hainline, the NCAA’s chief medical officer, said the return of NCAA sports will be dependant on the national spread of COVID-19.

“Any recommendation on a pathway toward a safe return to sport will depend on the national trajectory of COVID-19 spread,” said Hainline. “The idea of sport resocialization is predicated on a scenario of reduced or flattened infection rates.”

The guidelines include:

  • Daily self-health checks.
  • The appropriate use of face coverings and social distancing during training, competition and outside of athletics.
  • Testing strategies for all athletics activities, including pre-season, regular season and post-season.
  • Testing and results within 72 hours of competition in high contact risk sports.
  • Member schools must adhere to public health standards set by their local communities.

NCAA President Mark Emmert said that at the moment, the data is pointing in the wrong direction and if there is to be college sports this fall, the pandemic needs to be handled much better.

“When we made the extremely difficult decision to cancel last spring’s championships it was because there was simply no way to conduct them safely,” said Emmert. “This document lays out the advice of health care professionals as to how to resume college sports if we can achieve an environment where COVID-19 rates are manageable. Today, sadly, the data point in the wrong direction. If there is to be college sports in the fall, we need to get a much better handle on the pandemic.”

Pac-12, Big Ten Go Conference Only

The Pac-12 Conference and the Big Ten Conference announced last week that if there is a fall college football season, they would only play conference schedules.

The Ivy League has canceled fall sports and the WCC Conference has delayed the start of fall sports to September 10.

Other college athletics conferences have not made official decisions yet but are in “wait and see mode.”

Coronavirus Resources

How Do I Prevent It?

The CDC has some simple recommendations, most of which are the same for preventing other respiratory illnesses or the flu:

  • Avoid close contact with people who may be sick
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

How To Get Help

If you’re worried you may have COVID-19, you can contact the Utah Coronavirus Information Line at 1-800-456-7707 to speak to trained healthcare professionals. You can also use telehealth services through your healthcare providers.

Additional Resources

If you see evidence of PRICE GOUGING, the Utah Attorney General’s Office wants you to report it. Common items in question include toilet paper, water, hand sanitizer, certain household cleaners, and even cold medicine and baby formula. Authorities are asking anyone who sees price gouging to report it to the Utah Division of Consumer Protection at 801-530-6601 or 800-721-7233. The division can also be reached by email at consumerprotection@utah.gov.

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NCAA Return To Sport Depends On National Trajectory Of COVID-19 Spread