Student-athletes and staff will undergo testing this week for COVID-19 as part of return to campus
LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech Athletics announced Thursday a series of medical protocols and safety procedures ahead of the return of football student-athletes to voluntary strength and conditioning activity on June 15.
The return to campus plan was developed in consultation with Texas Tech’s sports medicine staff and its team physician Dr. Michael Phy. All decisions related to Texas Tech’s return to campus plan have been communicated to and supported by the City of Lubbock Health Department.
The return to campus plan includes the following procedures:
Student-athletes who choose to participate voluntarily will be administered a COVID-19 and Antibody test this week. All testing results will be received by Texas Tech’s medical staff prior to the start of voluntary workouts. Texas Tech has had nearly 100 student-athletes acknowledge they plan to participate at this time.
All football-related staff will be tested this week for COVID-19. This includes all full-time coaches, quality control staff and graduate assistants as well as sports medicine, equipment and nutrition staff members.
POSITIVE TEST PROCEDURES FOR COVID-19
If a student-athlete tests positive for COVID-19, Texas Tech will immediately implement safety protocols to prevent the further spread of the virus. Affected student-athletes will be self-isolated and will receive daily monitoring and care from Texas Tech’s sports medicine staff. The City of Lubbock Health Department will have oversight of this process until the student-athlete has recovered. Student-athletes who share living arrangements with teammates will self-isolate in a designated room provided by Texas Tech.
Per local and state regulations, any positive tests will be reported to the City of Lubbock Health Department in order to implement contact tracing. Any other student-athlete found to be a “high-risk exposure” will be required to quarantine for 14 days in their current place of residence or in a designated living space provided by the athletics department.
DAILY SCREENING PROCEDURES
Texas Tech will assign each student-athlete who expresses his intention to participate in voluntary activity a designated time to report to the Football Training Facility every day. Student-athletes and staff will all submit a daily online assessment of symptoms prior to their arrival to the facility and will have daily temperature checks in addition to daily surveillance from Texas Tech’s sports medicine staff.
Student-athletes will dress off-site and bring used workout gear back the following day for daily cleaning by the equipment staff. Student-athletes will be presented a sanitized laundry loop for that day’s workout gear at the end of their workout period.
SOCIAL DISTANCING PROTOCOLS
Texas Tech will follow social distancing guidelines of at least six feet as individual weight racks have already been separated by 10 feet inside the Football Training Facility weight room. For conditioning activity on the outdoor practice fields, Texas Tech will separate student-athletes by five yards each. The social distancing protocols also include procedures to prevent cross contamination on workout equipment.
All staff in any of Texas Tech’s facilities will be required to wear a mask and will be advised to follow social distancing guidelines. Masks will also be distributed to student-athletes to wear inside the facility and during voluntary workouts.
Beginning June 15, Texas Tech will only utilize the weight room located inside the Football Training Facility as well as the outdoor practice fields for conditioning. Texas Tech does not plan on opening the Sports Performance Center for student-athlete access until at least July 1. Both facilities will have maintained hours of operation in order to provide a clean and safe environment for all student-athletes and staff.
The Football Training Facility as well as all of Texas Tech’s other athletic facilities will remain closed to visitors until further notice.
OFF-LIMIT AREAS AND STUDENT-ATHLETE MEALS
Student-athletes will not be able to utilize the locker room, showers or players’ lounge while inside the Football Training Facility. Nutritional supplements and fueling station snacks will be pre-packaged for carry-out. Any meals provided to student-athletes will be distributed as grab-and-go to eat at their place of residence.
CLEANING AND DISINFECTING PROCEDURES
Texas Tech will stagger workout groups in 90-minute intervals followed by a 30-minute period for all weight room equipment and heavily-trafficked areas to be properly disinfected using EPA-registered cleaning supplies. Hand sanitizer will also be readily available throughout the facility for all student-athletes and staff. Additionally, the Football Training Facility will be closed daily from 12:30-1:30 p.m. for the entire building to be cleaned and disinfected.
Because these workouts are strictly voluntary, Texas Tech is not permitted to allow any coaches or coaching staff members to be present. Coaching staff members can continue to take part in virtual meetings and film review with their student-athletes for eight hours per week through the month of June.
Student-athletes will be monitored by strength and conditioning and sports medicine staff for each workout group. NCAA rules do not allow Texas Tech to film any voluntary activity for the purpose of distributing to the media or publicizing on social media.