The NCAA announced Thursday an extension of previous guidance surrounding the coronavirus pandemic and provided updated recommendations to help slow the spread of the virus amongst student-athletes.
The guidelines released by the NCAA Sport Science Institute are the third publication made by the NCAA regarding the resocialization of collegiate sports. The newest set of guidance includes advice for handling athletics in and out of competition.
“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,” NCAA President Mark Emmett said in a release. “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.”
The recommendations include daily self-health checks, appropriate face coverings and social distancing during and outside of athletics, and testing and results within 72 hours of competition for high-contact sports.
The new set of guidelines also called for testing strategies for all athletic activities from preseason through postseason.
“Any recommendation on a pathway toward a safe return to sport will depend on the national trajectory of COVID-19 spread,” Brian Hainline, NCAA chief medical officer, said in a release. “The idea of sport resocialization is predicated on a scenario of reduced or flattened infection rates.”