BIRMINGHAM, Ala.- The Southwestern Athletic Conference COVID-19 Advisory Committee has identified baseline best practices to support a safe return to sporting activity. These best practices were shared in detail in the SWAC’s COVID-19 plan that was distributed among the league’s institutional leadership.
The SWAC COVID-19 Advisory Committee adopted the following principles in developing recommended practices for local planning for a return to sporting activity.
- The Health and Safety of student-athletes, team staff, and coaches shall remain at the forefront of all institutional and conference COVID-19 planning.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) along with Local and State Government Health Agencies will continue to guide institutional and conference decisions related to COVID-19.
- Management of external factors to decrease transmission (including the wearing of masks and rigorous cleaning and disinfection procedures).
- Minimize and eliminate exposure to all environments that cannot meet CDC recommended standards related to appropriate social distancing and sanitization (including strict physical and social distancing guidelines). The only social distancing exceptions shall occur 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 should also be considered.
- Early detection (including screening, testing and temperature checks).
- Containment strategies (including contact tracing, and isolation of those infected with COVID-19 and those exposed to the virus).
Prior to a SWAC member institution beginning the process of the return of student-athletes to campus, all Federal, State and Local criteria should first be met.
According to the NCAA — “In all instances, college athletics must operate with the approval of the students’ institutional leadership: and the institution must be operating in accordance with local and state public officials with regard to return to campus, return to practice, and return to competition. In the end, institutional and governmental leadership determine who can participate in; assist with; and watch student-athlete practices and completion.”
The Southwestern Athletic Conference reminds everyone to please continue to be attentive to everyday preventive actions identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov).