As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage across the United States, the NCAA has updated its return-to-sport guidelines for practices and competitions to match-up with the newest information about the virus that is being released by the CDC.
These guidelines were put together with the help of the NCAA COVID-19 Medical Advisory Group, the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine COVID-19 Working Group, and the Autonomy 5 Medical Advisory Group.
The new guidelines include information on the following:
- How to differentiate outdoor from indoor sport – as research has shown that the risk of transmission of COVID-19 is much lower outdoors than indoors – and therefore how guidelines for indoor and outdoor sports differ.
- New testing strategies for indoor sports that have a high risk of transmission, including PCR testing, or antigen testing that is performed regularly.
- New considerations for how to address the cardiovascular health of athletes who develop COVID-19.
- Updated travel considerations that align with current CDC recommendations.
- Considerations for the potential discontinuation of athletics, should the pandemic reach a point where it is no longer safe for athletes to participate in collegiate athletics.
In addition, the updated guidelines also include information about preventing transmission within the collegiate athletic community, the risk of transmission by sport, and information about testing and mask-wearing for athletes and athletic personnel.
Brian Hainline, the NCAA chief medical officer, stated the following of these updates:
“As the spread of COVID-19 continues to evolve, it is imperative we remain diligent in protecting the students, staff and officials at our member schools and conferences. Members should continue to pair this guidance with recommendations from their local health officials.”
To read all of the updated information in full, follow this link.