Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger just shared the details of a new proposal from the Power 5 conferences about COVID-19 testing standards and procedures for fall sports, and they’re pretty stringent.
For high-risk sports like college football and basketball, the Power 5 is calling for weekly tests during the season, and in the event that a player tests positive for COVID-19, a 10-day isolation period. Even further, those who have had close contact with someone who tests positive must quarantine for 14 days — even if they themselves test negative for the virus.
More details, from SI:
Those who test positive must isolate for at least 10 days from their onset of symptoms/positive test and until they’ve gone at least three days without symptoms, which the document defines as “resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement of respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath).” Those found to have had “high risk” contact with people who have tested positive will quarantine for 14 days. This 14-day quarantine is mandatory. Even if those quarantined test negative for the virus, they must still complete the 14 days without competition—a significant restriction that could knock out large swaths of a football team. “Institutions may consider testing contacts during quarantine if the local testing supply is adequate, however this does not shorten or remove the need for a 14 day quarantine period,” the document says.
A “high risk” contact is defined as those who are within six feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes while one or both parties is not wearing a mask. That includes anyone participating in face-to-face or contact drills against each other.
What would force a school to cancel a game or their entire season? An inability to isolate new positive cases or quarantine high-risk contact cases, inability to perform weekly testing, unsafe test rates on campus or in the community, inability to perform adequate contact tracing, or concerns from local health officials about hospitals not being able to handle a surge in cases.
Pretty sobering stuff. Dellenger notes that the document is not final but is expected to be released soon by the Power 5 and NCAA. Read it all for yourself over at SI.com.