The NCAA has released guidelines on medical testing to reduce the risk of COVID-19. This is an attempt to create uniformity across Power 5 conferences.
According to CBS Sports, those minimum guidelines include testing requirements, response strategies, contact-tracing methods and specific protocols for games to be canceled amid numerous positive tests for the coronavirus.
A general set of guidelines is important for sports to get back on track. Different states have different strategies to combat the virus. This creates different rules for schools in different states to follow.
Every team knows that all players and coaches are being tested and keeping everyone as safe as possible.
It’s required that some sports do more comprehensive work before games are played. Sports like Football, where physical contact is inevitable, will be required to perform PCR tests 72 hours before a game.
The PCR test is a common coronavirus test. It includes a mucus sample taken from the nose.
If a player tests positive for the virus, he or she will be required to isolate for 10 days and can only return when they are symptom-free for 3 days. Additionally, those athletes considered “high-risk” contact will also have to quarantine for 14 days. High-Risk contact is anyone who is within six feet of a positive COVID-19 case for more than 15 minutes with no mask.
Suggestions, not Requirements
The Power 5 will most likely decide testing protocol (frequency, uniformity) on their own. @NCAA can suggest guidelines but has no way to enforce. Noble task but P5 has the means, science and its own experts to implement.
— Dennis Dodd (@dennisdoddcbs) July 13, 2020
As the tweet above states, these COVID-19 suggestions from the NCAA are just that, suggestions. Conferences will not be required to follow these rules unless they are adopted by the leadership in each individual conference. Still, it feels like a step in the right direction to have uniform rules that can help to create the safest possible return of college sports this fall.