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Testing, Testing, 1-2-3...Times Per Week

NCAA releases back-to-sports COVID-19 Guidelines

U.S.-WASHINGTON, D.C.-COVID-19-SCHOOL Xinhua/Liu Jie via Getty Images

Earlier today, the NCAA came out with the most comprehensive guidance we have seen regarding what their expectations and requirements will be of schools in order for play to safely resume.

The headlining detail is that teams are expected to be tested on non-consecutive days, three times per week. While it is prudent and will hopefully prevent large-scale outbreaks, particularly as more accurate & rapid tests become available, this will be a logistical nightmare for all schools and a serious financial burden for low- and mid-major programs already facing budgetary problems.

The full document outlining the restrictions was recently posted: https://www.ncaa.org/sport-science-institute/core-principles-resocialization-collegiate-basketball. The bolded sentence below, in which the NCAA recommends quarantining the entire team as a result of a positive test, could cause serious scheduling challenges:

“A typical basketball team has 15 players, all of whom typically train on a single basketball court at the same time in an enclosed space. Generally speaking, it is expected that the total number of Tier 1 individuals within a team would approximate 25-30. If any Tier 1 individual becomes infected, schools should consider quarantining the entire team, including coaching staff and other essential personnel who are part of Tier 1, for 14 days, provided determinations around who must be quarantined are ultimately the jurisdiction of applicable public health officials. At present, there is not a recommendation for consideration of testing out of quarantine.”

The full text of the NCAA’s press release is available here.