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July 14: Athletics and COVID Precautions

Athletics (5:23)

NAIA Update

Start dates for practices and competitions have been set, so if you’re a fall or winter athlete, you’ll be hearing from your coach/student life staff for move-in dates

  • Practices can begin on August 15th and first competition dates for all sports can start on Saturday, September 5th.

Protocols have been installed for screening athletes daily and on competition days. More details on what this will look like will come the athletes from their coaches.

NAIA is requiring all athletes to be tested 7 days prior to their first competition

  • Plans for testing are being finalized now (such as how long it will take to get the results, how the testing will be paid for, who will be conducting the testing, etc.)

The athletic department is working with Parkview Health to determine what proper social distancing protocols look like for each sport, how to keep all equipment sanitized properly.

  • The protocols and procedures for these topics will be covered in more detail either right before athletes come back to campus or as you return to campus

COVID-19: Protocols and Guidelines (9:38)

Physical Prep (13:49) 

  • Furniture Layouts have changed
    • Seating and other furniture has been adjusted/repositioned to allow for social distancing to be practiced
  • There will be signs on external and internal doors to allow for certain doors to be designated as entries and exits
    • Some stairwells will only be up or down
  • Barriers have been constructed within lab spaces so that spaces which are harder to socially distance can still be kept personal and safe
  • Office spaces
    • The maintenance department has created Plexiglas screens so that we can still interact with others safely within office spaces
  • Maximum capacities
    • There may be capacity limits in certain buildings/areas; look for signage to know what areas have capacity limits/for more information
  • Tents
    • Six tents will be placed around campus so that extra outdoor space can be provided for more spaces for socializing or classroom spaces—if the professors would like
    • Student life or even campus ministry events may be held in those tents as well

Protocols/Guidelines (17:50) 

  • A student flow chart will be released soon to help students know what to do when they’re in certain situations (like, if I don’t feel well, what do I do? If my roommate doesn’t feel well, what do I do?) The flow chart will also include a phone number students can call at any time. It will connect them to a Student Life member who can help them with any questions they have.
  • Wearing masks will be required for certain times and certain places. They will be required when you’re in areas outside of the bubble of your dorm rooms.
  • Extra cleaning will be implemented around campus (like res hall bathrooms and classrooms)
  • Guests on Campus
    • Large-scale events, athletic events, other large gatherings of people from outside the campus, up to November, will be limited and monitored
  • Self-monitoring checklist
    • This will be given to all students and faculty so that we can monitor ourselves to best make sure we’re staying healthy
  • Travel in HU Vehicles
    • When traveling in campus vehicles, protocols will be implemented in order to ensure students and staff remain safe (such as assigned seats)

We are partnering with local health professionals and Parkview Health to ensure that we are informed and aligning our protocols and guidelines with the information the health experts are receiving.

Question and Answer (25:27)

Will we have open gyms/will the PLEX be open to all students? (25:32)

The PLEX will have hours for it to be open to all students, and the hours will be fairly similar to what they were before. Open gym availabilities will depend upon the sport.

What are some ways we are expecting to limit the spread of the virus within the dorms? (27:27)

Some residence hall lounges will have to have capacity limits; extra cleaning will be implemented in residence hall lounges, bathrooms, and other commonly-touched surfaces; RDs and RAs will be receiving more training and guidance on how these protocols will be implemented. Once a student leaves his/her dorm room and enters the hallway/a common space, it is expected that they wear a mask. We will not allow external visitors into residence halls—parents included.

Will we be quarantined if we travel for tournaments? (30:27)

Travel plans for the fall are being finalized now, but there may be limitations on who’s invited to the competition; it’s suggested that teams do not stay overnight anywhere. Many tournaments have been cut-down to one day tournaments instead of two-days.

Right now, decisions being made for athletics are being made season by season since things are changing quickly.

If students aren’t feeling well, is there a way for them to participate in their class virtually? (33:07)

This was touched on in the academic Tuesday Night Live session, but there are options being explored on how to connect students to their classes technologically.

Will clubs—like Undignified—be held? If they are, what precautions need to be taken? (34:57)

If it’s not possible for CDC protocols to be practiced and observed, then the club meetings will have to be either postponed or canceled for the time being. So if reasonable accommodations can be made, then we’re still planning on providing students with the opportunity to be involved in these clubs.

Will suite-style bathrooms have to be cleaned by staff or will products be provided to the students to use? (36:26)

COVID-type cleaning will be taken care of by the housekeeping staff, but personal/additional cleaning can still be done by students.

 Why are some winter sports moving in early? (39:28)

This is to give the team time to build up the team unit as well as to do the camps, practices, or open gyms which may not have happened due to COVID.

Can parents/immediate family help us move-in? (40:55)

We will not be denying students from being able to bring along their family for help moving in, however, listen in to next Tuesday’s Tuesday Night Live to hear the numbers the Student Life Office has set for move-in day.

With the fogging machine being used to clean, would this disrupt students that are sensitive to certain chemicals? (42:27)

The fogging machine is more of a mist than a fog, so the mist settles and sanitizes the area. It isn’t a heavy fog that someone would walk into. In terms of the chemicals used, they have been vented to ensure that they are safe for use. If students have any further questions regarding the chemicals/products used for sanitation, feel free to reach out to Russ Degitz.

What teams will be moving in early? (44:08)

The specific times and dates aren’t solidified as to which teams are moving in on which days, however, all fall sports, basketball, and bowling will be moving in on either August 13th or 14th.

When will the move-in time slots be posted? (44:45)

Dr. Brian Jaworski will be able to answer this question on next week’s Tuesday Night Live.

Will the external guest rules apply to commuting students? (45:40)

Dr. Jaworski will be able to attest to this more in the Tuesday Night Live session with Student Life and Campus Ministries

For the athletes moving in early: will they be required to stay on campus in that two-week period or will they be able to go off-campus at any point in time? (47:30)

The intention is to try and keep athletes on campus. Not only is it early training, but it also acts as a type of quarantine. This helps us stay vigilant and on top of our health to have better success throughout the athletic season.

Throughout the semester, can students leave campus to go visit people? (49:35)

For the general student population, it is our desire that students stay on campus. If there are life events, such as birthdays or weddings, we aren’t stopping students from participating in those events. However, we do ask that students be cautious and don’t take unnecessary risks.

Will students be required to do daily temperature checks? (51:10)

As of now, this is not a requirement for the general student population. There will be resources available so that students can take their temperature if they are feeling unwell.

For athletes, the NAIA is requiring a daily temperature check for all athletes before any team event. Self-monitoring questions will also have to be answered as a part of this health routine. More details on what student athletes will have to do before team events and practices will be discussed between teams and coaching staff.