As other sports leagues ramp up testing for COVID-19 during their restart efforts, the NCAA is advising its teams to delay testing after positive results.
According to Brett McMurphy of Stadium, student-athletes who test positive for COVID-19 will not have to test again for three months.
“Sources told Stadium, NCAA advises schools that after a student-athlete has a confirmed positive COVID test, they won’t have to test again for next 3 months unless they show symptoms,” McMurphy wrote on Twitter. “For example, players who test positive in July, will not have to test again until October.”
Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports confirmed the report, adding that the NCAA is going by CDC guidelines “regarding players and staffers who have tested positive for Covid-19.”
I have been told this as well by several school sources, citing CDC guidelines regarding players and staffers who have tested positive for Covid-19. https://t.co/tfQPOIVMMv
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) July 24, 2020
Neither report specified whether players will have to test negative prior to returning to play, specifically if the initial positive result comes during the season.
In most professional leagues – namely the NBA and MLB – players are not allowed to return to play until they have tested negative not once, but twice.
Looking at the official guidelines, the CDC says “retesting is not recommended within three months after the date of symptom onset” for COVID-19.
“For persons previously diagnosed with symptomatic COVID-19 who remain asymptomatic after recovery, retesting is not recommended within 3 months after the date of symptom onset for the initial COVID-19 infection,” the CDC states. “In addition, quarantine is not recommended in the event of close contact with an infected person.
“For persons who develop new symptoms consistent with COVID-19 during the 3 months after the date of initial symptom onset, if an alternative etiology cannot be identified by a provider, then the person may warrant retesting; consultation with infectious disease or infection control experts is recommended. Isolation may be considered during this evaluation based on consultation with an infection control expert, especially in the event symptoms develop within 14 days after close contact with an infected person.”