The NCAA Sport Science Institute has released its latest document regarding the resocialization of college sports as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
NCAA Chief Medical Officer Brian Hainline says that “Thanks to the distribution of vaccines, the level of COVID-19 immunity across the country has increased considerably, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its guidance for vaccinated individuals. This is reflected in our latest resocialization document.” Hainline goes on to discuss that although vaccination levels are rising, they’re still not at a point where we have effective immunity across the country. “This suggests virus transmission will continue at the local level rather than large outbreaks across the country, emphasizing the need to carefully monitor local trends and immunity levels.”
The guidance from this latest document includes players, coaches, and staff members staying home from practice when feeling sick, and frequent hand washing/sanitizing. The latest guidance also highly encourages mask-wearing and physical distancing for those who aren’t yet vaccinated.
For those members who are fully vaccinated, the guidance is following CDC recommendations, meaning that those who are fully vaccinated may go without masks at practice, and don’t need to adhere to distancing.
According to the NCAA’s press release on the document, “For college athletes returning to campus, the first two weeks warrant special consideration.” This is due to athletes coming to campus from various spots around the country, and the risk of athletes carrying the virus while being asymptomatic.