Carolina Athletics: Roadmap to Return to Campus

Quierra Luck

A strategy for returning to campus has finally been released for UNC student-athletes. Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham composed a letter to the Carolina Community, outlining a timeline for the staff and student-athletes to return.

In his letter, Cunningham declared that while the university is planning for competition, with numerous safety precautions in place, how many fans will be able to participate is still unanswered. 

A look at North Carolina's timeline of return can be seen below.

June 1 — Facilities staff members
June 8 — Sports Medicine staff
June 12 — Coaching staffs for Football, Men's Basketball, and Women's Basketball
June 12-July 1 — Football student-athletes, in four separate groups (June 12, 19, 26, 29)
June 15 — Strength and Conditioning, Equipment and Administration staff members
June 22 — Coaching staffs for Field Hockey, Volleyball, Men's and Women's Soccer and Cross Country
July 6 — Men's and Women's Basketball student-athletes
July 13 — Field Hockey, Volleyball, Men's and Women's Soccer and Cross Country student-athletes
August 3 — Coaches and student-athletes from the remainder of our teams, and remaining department staff members

As part of our safety precautions, team members will be housed together. They will be instructed to follow strict guidelines for social distancing and standards in and outside of our facilities. We will continue to evaluate testing and safety protocols for the Winter and Spring teams scheduled to return at the same time as the student body.

The return of students has been a concern for multiple entities, especially parents - testing being one. Cunningham devised a plan that would require all student-athletes from Football, Men's and Women's Basketball, Field Hockey, Volleyball, Men's and Women's Soccer and Cross Country, as well as members of those sports staffs, to be tested for COVID-19 at least twice – once when they arrive, and again 7-8 days later.

Testing:

Football, men's basketball, women's basketball and fall sport program coaches, staff, and student-athletes will be tested for COVID-19. It must test negative for the virus before they can interact in-person with student-athletes. Student-athletes who initially test negative will be re-tested after 7-8 days and again if they become symptomatic. Personnel and students who choose not to be tested will be required to quarantine for 14 days.

Coaches and staff who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to quarantine at home or another approved location. The location, requirements, and protocol for the quarantine will be coordinated and approved by UNC's Director of Sports Medicine.

For more information regarding UNC athletic return, please visit GoHeels.com.

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