Michigan State announces safety protocols for student-athletes returning for voluntary workouts

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Posted at 10:17 AM, Jun 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-04 10:17:29-04

EAST LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) — Michigan State University announced plans for student-athletes to return to campus to prepare for voluntary summer workouts amid the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the university, returning student-athletes for football, men's and women's basketball and volleyball will be the first to return and undergo coronavirus testing.

“We are excited to welcome our student-athletes back to campus,” Michigan State athletic director Bill Beekman said. “Our staff has put together a comprehensive plan with a clear priority on the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes. The strict protocols will allow our student-athletes to safely work out and begin to prepare for a return to competition.”

“In implementing our plan we considered guidance from many experts,” Assistant Vice President for Health Sciences/MSU Health Care Chief Clinical and Medical Officer/Interim Director of Athletic Medicine Dr. Anthony Avellino said. “Our only priority was the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes. Understanding that our knowledge surrounding COVID-19 continues to evolve, we will continue to monitor the latest medical and public health information available and make adjustments as warranted.”

The athletes who return will immediately report for testing on June 15 at a dedicated time depending on the sport. After testing, they will have to self-isolate in the on- or off-campus housing for a week. Those who test positive will have to quarantine for 10 days.

A week later on June 22, students who tested negative will be given a second test, and if they again test negative, they can begin summer voluntary workouts in small workout groups based on others they live with.

Athletic staff who interact with the student-athletes will also undergo testing.

Anyone entering buildings will go through a single-door and undergo health screenings and temperature checks. Student-athletes will also be required to wear face masks at all times except during workouts. They will also get their own water bottles to use and bring to each workout. Locker rooms will remain closed.

Freshmen and newcomers for football, men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball are scheduled to return on June 29. Hockey student-athletes will return to campus to begin their testing on July 6. Additional sports will return at a later date.