Athletics Re-entry Policy

July 28, 2020

In an effort to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 among student-athletes and athletics personnel (including coaches, athletic trainers, equipment managers, etc.) as student-athletes return to campus to participate in individual workouts, group/team activities, and team competitions, the Missouri State University-West Plains (university) Athletics Department has established the following re-entry plan for intercollegiate athletics:

Pre-entry Requirements

  1. Risk Assessment Survey – All student-athletes, as well as athletics personnel whose duties require immediate and close interaction with student-athletes, will be required to complete a risk assessment survey no earlier than 24 hours prior to their return to West Plains. Such survey must be completed before any student-athlete or personnel participates in a COVID-19 clearance procedure, as described in Section 2 below. The survey responses will be used to determine the appropriate clearance procedure necessary for a student-athlete to gain re-entry into intercollegiate athletics activities and facilities.
  2. COVID-19 Clearance Procedures – All student-athletes, as well as athletics personnel whose duties require immediate and close interaction with student-athletes, will be required to undergo a COVID-19 clearance procedure (including COVID-19 testing), facilitated through Burton Creek Rural Clinic, prior to consideration for re-entry.
    • If no concerns are identified from an individual’s survey responses, the individual may immediately schedule and undergo testing at Burton Creek Rural Clinic.
    • If  the  survey  indicates that  an  individual  has,  within  the  last  14  days,  traveled internationally, traveled via mass transit (e.g., by plane, bus, train, etc.), attended a large event involving close contact, or reported possible exposure to COVID-19 infection, the individual must wait 5 days after returning to West Plains before undergoing testing. If the individual develops any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 infection during that 5-day period, the individual must contact Burton Creek Rural Clinic and follow any directives regarding quarantine and/or testing.
    • If, in responding to the survey, an individual reports current symptom(s) consistent with COVID-19 infection or a confirmed exposure to COVID-19, the individual will be required to undergo an immediate 14-day self-quarantine upon their return to West Plains. At the end of the quarantine period, the individual will be required to follow any directives regarding evaluation, testing, etc., provided by Burton Creek Rural Clinic.
    • In the event a student-athlete or athletics personnel has an existing medical condition such that testing may be unsafe or otherwise contraindicated, that individual may seek an accommodation pursuant to the University’s existing accommodations processes. Student-athletes may initiate the accommodations process by contacting the disability support officer (255-8062 or PTate@missouristate.edu), while employees may initiate the accommodations process by contacting the deputy compliance officer (836-6755 or JuliaHolmes@missouristate.edu).

      All student-athletes and personnel will be restricted from re-entry until a satisfactory completion of the clearance procedure is confirmed by Burton Creek Rural Clinic and the Coordinator of Fitness and Athletic Training.

COVID-19 Transmission Control

  1. Social Distancing and Gathering Size – Intercollegiate Athletics will adhere to state, local and university orders, policies and guidance regarding social distancing and the number of individuals who may gather in a group activity, in terms of scheduling or hosting workouts, practices, competitions, etc. Such principles will also apply to common areas such as locker rooms, athletic training rooms, meeting rooms, the academic achievement center, etc.
  2. Contact – Intercollegiate Athletics will adhere to state and local orders, policies and guidance regarding activities involving contact. This refers to not only direct bodily contact but the sharing of common objects that cannot be sanitized after each individual usage (e.g., sport specific apparatus, balls, etc.).
  3. Use  of  Personal Protective Equipment  (PPE)  –  In  instances where social  distancing practices are fundamentally inconsistent with the underlying activity at issue (e.g., athletics training evaluation, etc.) appropriate PPE usage (e.g., face masks, gloves, etc.) will be required for both student-athletes and athletics personnel. Moreover, any student-athlete or athletics personnel may choose to wear PPE at any time, and to the extent reasonably practicable, such PPE will be provided to them.
  4. Facility Sanitation – All athletics activities will be scheduled and arranged in such a manner to allow for proper facility cleaning and sanitation prior to the next scheduled use. This includes use of common areas at all athletics facilities. Such cleaning and sanitation scheduling will be coordinated with Facilities Management. Point-of-contact sanitation will be required at all facilities and common areas in situations where sharing of equipment/apparatus may be necessary (e.g., weight room equipment, athletic training room equipment, key boards, tables, etc.). In terms of point-of-contact sanitation, all affected equipment/apparatus must be individually sanitized each time it is used.
  5. Daily Risk Assessment – Prior to admittance to any facility and/or common area for that day, student-athletes and athletics personnel must report to a pre-arranged station(s) and fill out a daily risk assessment questionnaire, have their temperature taken, and perform appropriate hand hygiene. If the questionnaire identifies a specific risk of COVID-19 infection, or the individual’s temperature is 100.4 degrees or higher, the individual will be denied entry to all athletic facilities and common areas and sent home for immediate isolation until such time the individual can be assessed by Burton Creek Rural Clinic staff.
  6. Symptomatic Individuals – Any student-athlete or athletics personnel who exhibit or report symptoms consistent with COVID-19 will be instructed to isolate at place of residence until the individual can be assessed by Burton Creek Rural Clinic staff. Such individuals shall be required to follow any testing or self-quarantine recommendations provided by Burton Creek Rural Clinic personnel.
  7. Contact Tracing – All supervised athletics facilities (including common areas) will be required to maintain a daily sign in/out sheet. In the event of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection among student-athletes or athletics personnel, such information will be used for contact tracing purposes, in order to help identify other individuals who may have been exposed and determine whether such other individuals should undergo COVID-19 testing and/or self-quarantine.
  8. Personal Risk – Any student-athlete or athletics personnel who engages in an activity deemed at-risk for the spread of COVID-19 (including, but not limited to, use of mass transit, attendance at large events involving close contact, known exposure to COVID-19, etc.), will be subject to a re-evaluation for purposes of athletic participation status and may be required to undergo 14-day self-quarantine and renewal of testing protocol. All travel outside the West Plains area should be reported to a coach and athletic trainer prior to departure from the area for a pre-determination of the individual’s athletic re-entry status upon return to West Plains.

Effective Date

This policy is effective as of May 26, 2020, and shall continue until further notice. In no event, however, shall this policy be terminated prior to consulting with university administration and the MSU-WP team physician.