UW students-athletes may return as NCAA lifts COVID-19 moratorium on sports - Casper, WY Oil City News
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UW students-athletes may return as NCAA lifts COVID-19 moratorium on sports

(Brendan LaChance, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — The University of Wyoming Athletics Department announced on Wednesday, May 20 that student-athletes will be allowed to choose to return to campus for training this summer.

“[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,” the department said. “Other student-athletes will arrive on campus throughout the summer in various phases.”

UW Athletics said the decision comes as the NCAA Council voted Wendesday to lift an athletic activities moratorium due to COVID-19 coronanviurs.

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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 Athletics Director 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.”

UW Athletics say that the transition back to sports participation will be done in a safe manner. Medical professionals and university administrators will continue to provide input on the plan.

“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.”

UW Athletics listed some protocols which will be followed:

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.

UW Athletics

The Latest Statistics from the Wyoming Department of Health:

What to do if you are feeling sick: In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Casper-Natrona County Health Department says that people who are feeling sick or exhibiting symptoms should contact their primary physician.

If you do not have a primary care provider, and live in Natrona County, please contact the COVID-19 hotline, operated by the Casper-Natrona County Department of Health. The line is open Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm 577-9892. Hotline services are intended for Natrona County residents and may not be able to provide specific information to persons calling from out of county.

Officials ask that you please do not self-report to the Emergency Room. Persons experiencing problems breathing should call 9-11.

For general inquiries and non-symptom related questions about COVID-19, please contact the Casper-Natrona County Health Department via email: covid@cnchd.org

  • Practice Social Distancing by putting distance between yourself and other people. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

A list of area closures attributed to COVID-19 are available here.