NCAA revises COVID-19 guidance for winter sports

Media Credit: Sabrina Godin | Senior Staff Photographer

The NCAA will require booster shots for eligible athletes, but the association will also consider individuals fully vaccinated if they have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days.

The NCAA updated its COVID-19 guidelines for winter sports, the association announced in a release Friday.

The NCAA COVID-19 Medical Advisory Group updated its definition of “fully vaccinated” to include both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, in addition to the required booster for each shot, or if an individual has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days. NCAA officials included the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recent recommendation of a five-day quarantine period with five additional days of masking around others for anyone who tests positive but doesn’t experience symptoms.

“The Omicron variant has presented another surge of cases across the country,” NCAA Chief Medical Officer Brian Hainline said in the release. “This guidance was designed to align with the latest public health directives. Given how the pandemic continues to evolve, it’s important that staff on member campuses continue to work with their local and state health officials on protocols most suitable for their locations.”

GW has maintained a 10-day quarantine period for any community member who tests positive for COVID-19, regardless of whether they experience symptoms.

The NCAA’s guidance also states that individuals who are not fully vaccinated and are exposed to COVID-19 should remain home for five days with no participation in athletic activities and wear a mask for five additional days. On days six through 10, athletes will be allowed to play maskless if they obtain a negative PCR/NAAT test or antigen test.

Fully vaccinated individuals who are close contacts of a positive case do not need to quarantine but should wear masks for the following 10 days when not actively training or competing. Athletic activities will still be allowed to be performed maskless, but individuals must test on the fifth day if possible or if symptomatic.

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