Alabama State

Alabama State releases return to play protocol

Student-athletes will begin reporting to campus July 12 with football beginning in phases

Courtesy of Alabama State University

MONTGOMERY, Ala. | The Alabama State University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, in conjunction with the release of the University’s Return to Campus Plan, released their Return to Play plan for its student-athletes.

Student-athletes will begin reporting to campus July 12 with football beginning in phases. The program will have 50 student-athletes return on that date, followed by 35 more on July 19 and the final 30 members of the program returning July 26. Meanwhile, soccer and volleyball will return August 3, with cheerleaders and cross country August 5.

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Testing
Upon returning to campus, all student-athletes and staff will be tested for COVID-19 and must test negative for the virus before they can interact in-person with other members of their respective programs. Any student-athlete who tests positive for the virus, will be quarantined on campus for the required 14 days before being tested again.

Coaches and staff who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to quarantine at home or another approved location.

All athletic personnel and student-athletes must self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 daily before they arrive on campus or at a practice site.

Community Standards for Health and Safety
The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics’ community standards are guided by those established by the University. The unique nature of intercollegiate athletics instruction, participation and support requires us to take additional measures and modify protocols to protect the health and safety of all involved. All department staff and student-athletes are expected to fully comply with those standards.

Monitor Symptoms
Stay home if you are not feeling well. All employees and student-athletes must conduct a daily review of COVID-19 symptoms before arriving on campus or at a practice site. Anyone experiencing any of the following COVID-19 symptoms must not come to campus: 

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Sore throat
  • New gastrointestinal symptoms
  • Sudden loss of taste or smell

Employees experiencing symptoms should notify their health care provider and supervisor. Student-athletes should notify their athletic trainer and their head coach. Any individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, who has been referred for testing or who is awaiting test results may not come to campus for any reason until approved to do so. 

Additional information about COVID-19 symptoms is available from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) here.

Face Coverings or Masks
Staff and student-athletes are encouraged to bring their own face coverings or masks but will be provided one by the department if needed. Facilities staff will coordinate delivery and distribution efforts with unit heads, sport administrators and head coaches. 

All employees and student-athletes must wear a face covering or mask when inside a University facility and in settings where physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain. (e.g., meeting rooms, hallways, and training areas). Face coverings or masks may not be required when a student-athlete is participating in a physical or team activity supervised or conducted by a coach and athletics trainer, but in such cases alternative and appropriate precautions will be taken. 

Additional information about face coverings or masks is available from the CDC here.

Disposable Gloves
According to the CDC, gloves are not necessary for general use and do not replace good hand hygiene. Frequent handwashing is considered the best practice for common everyday tasks. Disposable gloves will be provided to facilities staff members and others who frequently exchange objects or materials with the public. 

Additional information about wearing gloves is available from the CDC here.

Social Distancing
All staff and student-athletes should make every effort to maintain appropriate physical distancing – a minimum of 6 feet distance (or 200 square feet per person, or about two arms lengths away) – from others at all times. Avoid assembling or convening in groups of greater than 10 people indoors. For gatherings and meetings that cannot meet these requirements, Zoom or another form of teleconferencing should be used. The only exception to this standard is when student-athletes participate in a physical or team activity supervised or conducted by a coach and athletics trainer and in such cases, alternative and appropriate precautions will be taken. 

Common areas such as break rooms, offices, restrooms, elevators, and conference rooms should be used only while adhering to physical distancing guidance. A facility use plan has been created for all athletics facilities. Occupancy limits for such areas will be communicated with temporary signage and visual cue marks will be utilized to support physical distancing practices.

Additional information about physical distancing is available from the CDC here.

Wash Hands
For the health and safety of everyone, you must wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Use soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and if soap is not readily available, use hand sanitizer instead. Hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies will be made available to unit heads, sport administrators and head coaches for distribution to staff and student-athletes. Hand sanitizer dispensers will also be added at building entryways and locations throughout athletics facilities.

Do not touch other people (e.g., handshake, high five) and do not let them touch you. If this occurs, do not touch your face, and wash your hands as soon as possible. According to the CDC, the most common form of transmission of the COVID-19 virus occurs when a person touches another person or object then touches their face. 

Additional information is available from the CDC here.

Meals
For the summer, all meals will be served out of the F.S. Dining Hall via a “grab-and-go” system. The dining hall operations and capacity will evolve depending on the University’s phase system and recommended guidelines. During the summer, prepacked food will be provided to the students for them to prepare in their respective dormitories, as well as the grab-and-go options. There will be no buffet options. The menu will have some leniency for items available and will feature breakfast, lunch, and dinner as needed.

Additional information is available here.

Facilities
ASU Athletics has multiple facilities that undergo routine cleaning and sanitation before, during and following use of them. It is important to continue the vigilant process of making our facilities – and, most importantly, the health and safety of the users – in the best possible condition through cleaning. Each facility has its specific processes through University procedures, such as utilizing approved and appropriate chemicals that limit exposures to medical concerns. The staff use towels, gloves and other protective equipment based on the situation. They also dispose of items into their appropriate places to decrease exposure. This is managed primarily by the University’s Facilities Management’s routine and plan for servicing the areas they are assigned. The introduction and preparation on the cleaning procedures that will be implemented based on the current pandemic will be constantly evaluated and adjusted as needed.

Alabama State releases return to play protocol
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