Athletics

Athletics will be returning to campus in phases with procedures in place to ensure the health of student athletes and staff.  

Phase 1 - Return to Campus

  • Athletic Department staff will return to campus on an alternating schedule beginning on June 8.
    • Staff will be back on campus one-month prior to the arrival of student-athletes (SA) and should be symptom free and have had no known contact with COVID-19 for 14 days prior to student-athlete arrival.
    • Staff will be monitored with frequent wellness checks by the athletic training staff.
  • Domestic Student-Athletes will be allowed to return to campus beginning July 15 if they are symptom free and have no known contact with COVID-19 14 days prior to returning to campus. International SAs will begin to return to campus on July 1 and will be self-isolated for 14 days on arrival. The following outlines protocols and procedures for the return of UTRGV SAs.
    • Student-Athletes will be asked to self-isolate for 7 days prior to arrival on campus.
    • All international SAs will self-isolate for 14 days after their arrival on campus
    • A travel questionnaire will be sent to SAs prior to their arrival.
    • The questionnaire will align with the UTRGV’s self-reporting travel form and will be used in place of the University’s form. Information will be shared with UT Health RGV officials.
  • No student-athlete can return to campus without following testing protocol. 

 

Testing upon arrival 

  • Testing procedures will include:
  • Domestic SAs will self-isolate for 72 hours prior to COVID-19 testing
  • SAs will be tested 10 days after the start of self-isolation (3 days on campus) at UTRGV Edinburg Student Health.
  • International SAs will be tested after 14 days of self-isolation on arrival
  • SAs must continue isolate in apartment (on or off-campus) until negative test result is confirmed. SAs will not have access to any athletic facilities until cleared to return.
  • SAs who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to isolate for until cleared by UT Health RGV.
  • Six apartments have been set aside (6 people total-one per apartment) for those who must be isolated due to positive tests. 

 

Housing Policies 

  • Student-Athletes arriving to campus housing will check-in by contactless check-in.
  • Teams are considered “family units” and should not closely interact with other teams.
  • SAs should remain in their apartment as much as possible and should not visit other apartments. 
  • No visitors are allowed during the summer/early arrival period prior to classes resuming.
  • Cleaning restrooms and shared spaces in the apartments regularly is required. 
  • Adhere to occupancy limits for laundry rooms and other common spaces.
  • Off-campus SAs should practice social distancing.
  • Educational sessions will be provided to all SAs prior to the arrival to campus. Department and UTRGV officials will share best practices and protocol expectations.

 

UTRGV Dining Hall 

  • Provide meals available for takeout back to apartment/dorm.
  • Provide meals to those in self-isolation or quarantine through delivery to doorstep. 

 

Training/Education/PPE 

  • Masks and individual water bottles will be issued upon arrival to campus.
  • Education will be provided for all coaches and staff prior to student-athletes arriving to campus.
  • Education sessions will be provided for each team on mitigating risks of contracting COVID-19
  • SAs must report any symptoms immediately to the athletic training room.
  • SAs should report any travel outside of Valley to training room/campus authorities as required by campus policy.

 

Opening the Victory Center, Training Facilities, Weight Room and Practice Venues

  • The Department of Athletics has developed comprehensive plans for SA returning to practice activities and sites.
  • A full description of these plans can be requested from the Department of Athletics and is found on the Return to Campus webpage.

  

PHASE II – Return to Practice (to be reassessed by July 1, 2020)

  • For SAs to participate in organized team practices, future guidelines and protocols will be followed.
  • Phase II assumes that practice without the use of social distancing is allowed.
  • Weight Room and Athletic Training Room facilities will adapt to new protocols provided.
  • Locker room access will only be provided if organized practices are allowed.

 

Open Locker Rooms

  • Locker rooms will open for access at 50% occupancy. This can change as additional protocols are provided.
  • Locker rooms will be sanitized after or between each practice session with a fogger or disinfectant spray using approved disinfectant. 
  • Use of common spaces (locker rooms/showers) should be limited to 50% of roster. 
  • Personnel will split the team into groups and schedule the use of the locker room. 
  • Time spent in the locker room by the student-athletes should be minimal. 
  • Team meetings and film sessions should only be held with enough distancing in a large space. 
  • Personnel will limit and schedule entrance points to locker room, hallways and training room.
  • Hand sanitizer will be placed at the entrance of each locker room. 
  • Limit contact with common touch points when possible by leaving doors open, removing trash can covers before team arrives. 
  • Identify high use touch points in locker rooms and disinfect area at a higher rate (door handles, sinks, shower handles, toilets, urinals). 
  • Only use of personal drinking bottles by student-athletes and coaches will be permitted.
  • Laundry should be washed daily with appropriate detergent with team managers using proper protection (gloves, face masks, etc.).  Student-athletes should deposit their used practice laundry in hampers to minimize team managers’ contact with dirty laundry. 

 

PHASE III – Return to Competitions and Team Travel (will be reassessed by July 1 to include guidelines for practice and access to athletic facilities.)

  • Bus travel will occur unless it is necessary to fly.
  • The Director of Athletics will continuously review and approve all travel in coordination with UT Health RGV to ensure our student-athletes, coaches and staff are traveling to locations that are not experiencing heightened COVID-19 activity.
  • Travel party will be limited to coaches, staff and student-athletes.
  • Wellness checks will be performed at the Athletic Training room on the day of travel
  • Wellness checks will be performed daily by coaches and staff while team is traveling
  • Wellness checks will be performed when the travel party returns to UTRGV. Wellness checks when returning to UTRGV will be performed by an athletic trainer.
  • SAs, coaches and staff should wear face coverings while traveling
  • SAs, coaches and staff will be provided hand sanitizer and should use frequently while traveling.

 

PHASE IV – Fans are allowed at Athletic Events at UTRGV (will be reassessed by August 15)