The University of Wyoming Athletics department announced on Wednesday that a portion of student-athletes from football and men’s and women’s basketball will return to campus on June 1 to participate in voluntary athletic activities. Other student-athletes will arrive on campus throughout the summer in various phases. The decision comes in conjunction with the NCAA Council’s Wednesday vote to lift the moratorium on athletic-related activities.
“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. “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 University of Wyoming is committed to keeping student-athletes, staff, coaches, campus and the community as safe as possible amid the COVID-19 pandemic. To this end, 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. 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.”
Below is a list of Protocols (not exhaustive list):
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. Matthew Boyer (Primary Care Physician/Medical Director) and the Sports Medicine staff for all medical needs if/when necessary.