Wyoming Football & Men's/Women's Basketball Can Return to Campus June 1 Voluntary Activities

Tracy Ringolsby

LARAMIE -- The Wyoming Athletic Department is taking the first steps toward a return to activity.

Student-athletes from football, and both men's and women's basketball will begin reutrning to campus on June 1 for voluntary athletic activities, it was announced on Wednesday. Athletes from other sports will return to campus under various phases.

The decision comes in the aftermath of the NCAA Council voting Wednesday to lift the moratorium on athletic-related activities, which is scheduled to end on May 31.

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“Our first priority is the health and well-being of our student-athletes, our campus community and the surrounding area,” UW Director of Athletics Tom Burman said in a statement issued by the Athletic Department. “We have done a deep dive into all of the options available, including quarantining and testing, and we feel good about our plan going forward. With quarantining and testing we believe there will be limited risk to our community, campus, staff and student-athletes.”

The Athletic Department’s transition back to sport participation will be done in a measured, disciplined way that accounts for the safety and well-being of everyone involved, according to a release from the school. 

In consultation with medical professionals and university administrators, a logistical, tactical and data-driven plan has been developed that will allow for the return of student-athletes to university facilities. 

The plan will remain flexible in order to adequately conform to the most recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the U.S. Department of Education and the State of Wyoming. So while the information below is not all inclusive, it does provide an overview of the steps the institution is taking to address student-athlete safety and community health.

“We have been evaluating possible ways to have a limited number of students voluntarily return to UW,” Primary Care Physician/Medical Director Dr. Matthew Boyer said. “This will be under strict supervision with strict limitations. In preparing this policy, we are following national and local government recommendations for resocialization.”

Wyoming will provide:

COVID-19 Testing – All student-athletes returning to Laramie for voluntary summer weight room workouts will receive required surveillance testing for (COVID-19). Surveillance testing will also be done on all university personnel who will regularly interact and come into contact with student-athletes.

Self-Quarantine – All student-athletes returning to Laramie for voluntary weight room workouts will complete a 14-day self-quarantine upon return.

Summer Weight Room Access – Will be limited to only student-athletes and coaches/staff who have completed a 14-day self-quarantine, been tested (COVID-19) and have been cleared by the Sports Medicine staff. Sports Medicine clearance will occur on a daily basis and include a daily temperature check and completion of a quick medical questionnaire/survey.

Cleaning – Policies and procedures will be implemented to ensure that all areas/equipment are cleaned after usage and at additional times throughout the day. Athletics facilities staff will also conduct additional cleaning at night including “deep cleanings” multiple times per week.

Housing – All student-athletes returning to Laramie for voluntary summer weight room workouts will have access to university residence halls during the 14-day self-quarantine period as needed. Additional residence halls will be available for student-athletes returning to Laramie for supervised summer weight room workouts in the event of a positive COVID-19 test.

Workout Apparel – All student-athletes will be provided multiple sets of workout apparel. A process will be implemented for all student-athletes to drop-off dirty workout apparel/pick-up clean workout apparel after each workout session.

Additional Safety Measures – All student-athletes/coaches/staff will initially be provided face coverings/masks and will be required to wear them at all times except when otherwise approved by our Sports Medicine staff. As always, all student-athletes will have access to Dr. Boyer and the Sports Medicine staff for all medical needs if/when necessary.

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