LEXINGTON, Ky. (WAVE) - The University of Kentucky has announced plans to begin the phased return of student athletes beginning Monday, June 8.
The plans come after the NCAA and Southeastern Conference voted in favor to allow voluntary in-person athletic activities to resume on that date.
Players in all sports are allowed to return according to the SEC, after first announcing that football and men’s and women’s basketball athletes would be able to return.
“We will not compromise the safety and well-being of our student-athletes in this process, taking all possible precautions,” Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said in a release. “Once we take this important step in returning to activity, we will shift our focus to preparing to return to play and bringing the entire UK family, student-athletes, coaches and fans alike, back together this fall in a responsible and safe way.”
Phased return to activity will begin with the football team, where returning student-athletes within Lexington will be able to participate in voluntary workouts following the initial screening process.
The athletics team will follow recommendations put forth by the SEC’s Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force in addition to additional guidelines by the University.
The following protocols put into place will include:
- An initial screening process for each student-athlete prior to beginning voluntary activities that includes antibody testing.
- Daily student-athlete and staff screening prior to entering a facility, including temperature checks and completion of a COVID-19 symptom questionnaire.
- Acknowledgement of vulnerable populations for both student-athletes and staff and following recommended accommodations and restrictions.
- Proactive education on COVID-19 best practices.
- Establishment of single entry and exit procedures and securing other doors to minimize facility use.
- Providing personal protective equipment for student-athletes and staff and setting rules for when masks must be worn.
Athletes returning from outside of Lexington will begin screening on June 8 with the goal to begin voluntary workouts on June 15. New incoming athletes will begin screening on June 15.
All other return to activity plans will be announced once finalized.