Florida Gators Release Multi-Phased Plan to Return Student-Athletes
The Florida Gators will open its campus back up to student-athletes for voluntary workouts beginning June 8th, the university released in a statement.
Schools nationwide have been starting to unveil their plans to get back to athletics while the country attempts to reopen from the novel coronavirus pandemic. The SEC announced on Friday that schools would be permitted to begin workouts on June 8th.
The Florida football team is scheduled to begin workouts on June 8th, with the team training facility being open for voluntary workouts. Volleyball, soccer, men's and women's basketball are also slated to return during the month of June, with new student-athletes for each sport set to arrive on campus at the beginning of July.
Student-athletes will be returned to campus in phases, beginning with the football team which will show up in three waves starting on May 26th, through June 8th. They will be screened and tested for COVID-19 as a part of a physical exam taken before they are allowed to participate, and will be screened daily along with a temperature check prior to working out.
"Our student-athlete wellness group has been working for some time with UF Health officials on a plan to integrate our student-athletes back on campus," Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin said in a statement. "They have developed a gradual phasing program, so that we don't have an influx of a large number of student-athletes returning at once."
The school will provide access to athletic facilities by appointment only, installing social distancing guidelines and sanitizing workout stations following each session and thoroughly at the end of the day. The university will also give student-athletes access to mental health counselors for assistance.
Given the seriousness of the pandemic and how contagious the coronavirus has proven to be, schools will be returning with extreme caution in order to best prevent an outbreak. COVID-19 has taken the lives of over 93,000 Americans and infected over 1.5 million, according to an update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday.