Jackson State updates return to play protocol

JSU’s new plan reflects dates for student-athletes to return.

JSU Campus Ready
VP/AD Ashley Robinson Letter to JSU Student-Athletes

JACKSON, Miss. –
 The Jackson State University Division of Athletics released its updated Return to Play for its student-athletes Tuesday afternoon.

The new plan reflects dates for student-athletes to return which is based on the decision by the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) to postpone fall sports to the Spring 2021 semester.

Student-athletes that compete in baseball, men’s and women’s cross country, bowling, football, soccer, softball, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s track & field and volleyball will take online classes for the Fall 2020 term. The Jackson State men’s and women’s basketball teams will report to campus August 12 to begin instruction.


Upon returning to campus, all Jackson State 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 Division of 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:

Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
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.

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Face Coverings or Masks

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.


Athletic facilities will not be open or available to student-athletes that will not be competing in winter sports, the student population, and the general public (this includes all athletic gyms, athletic fields, weight rooms and athletic study hall rooms, etc.).

Jackson State return to play

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.

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.

Jackson State updates return to play protocol
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