June 8 will be the date when athletes at SEC universities can return to campus for voluntary workouts as it the signs continue to trend towards having college football in the fall.
The league presidents voted Friday to lift the ban on on-campus activities which can to held under "strict supervision of designated university personnel and safety guidelines developed by each institution".
The SEC suspended all team activities on its campuses March 13 due to the threat of COVID-19. Football and basketball players have been forced to work out on their own off-campus.
The conference established the Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force in April, which created guidelines consistent with state and local health recommendations.
“The safe and healthy return of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators and our greater university communities have been and will continue to serve as our guiding principle as we navigate this complex and constantly-evolving situation,” said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey in a statement.
“At this time, we are preparing to begin the fall sports season as currently scheduled, and this limited resumption of voluntary athletic activities on June 8 is an important initial step in that process. Thanks to the blueprint established by our Task Force and the dedicated efforts of our universities and their athletics programs, we will be able to provide our student-athletes with far better health and wellness education, medical and psychological care and supervision than they would otherwise receive on their own while off campus or training at public facilities as states continue to reopen.”
In addition to social distancing and aggressive cleaning of athletic facilities, the SEC released a list of other health and safety measures they are recommending which also included the gradual approach to returning to full training.
- Enhanced education of all team members on health and wellness best practices, including but not limited to preventing the spread of COVID-19
- A 3-stage screening process that involves screening before student-athletes arrive on campus, within 72 hours of entering athletics facilities and on a daily basis upon resumption of athletics activities
- Testing of symptomatic team members (including all student-athletes, coaches, team support and other appropriate individuals)
- Immediate isolation of team members who are under investigation or diagnosed with COVID-19 followed by contact tracing, following CDC and local public health guidelines
- A transition period that allows student-athletes to gradually adapt to full training and sport activity following a period of inactivity