Elena Ciulli | Staff Writer
Students have made their way back to campus, among them student athletes looking to get back to training.
The athletic department outlines the strategy for mitigating the spread of COVID-19 to guarantee the safety of student athletes, coaches, and athletic trainers. Florida Tech implemented a sport-specific phased resocialization approach for each team, starting with the arrival of student athletes at the beginning of spring semester.
The priority was to get student athletes traveling back to campus safe and healthy. In order to be allowed to return to campus, student athletes have been required to submit a negative COVID-19 test. Testing has been double-layered, with follow-up tests acting as the green light for team practices.
“I have been very impressed with all of the measures that the university has taken as a whole.” Luis Velez, head athletic trainer at Florida Tech, said.
Once competitions start, athletes and staff will be subjected to different protocols, depending on potential transmission risk factors as outlined by the NCAA.
The nature of the sport and whether it is played indoors or outdoors are determining factors. Based on these guidelines by the NCAA, as competition approaches athletes and staff will be tested regularly starting the week prior to competition and throughout the season and postseason.
“I want to also thank Brittany Collins from the Health Center, Krishna Patel from the PRT for their help, our athletic administration, and our athletic training staff for their assistance in creating and implementing our policies,” Velez said. “Our coaches and student athletes have done a great job communicating with me and my staff if any concerns arise.”
Players and coaches are expected to strictly adhere to COVID-19 protocols throughout the semester.
John Reynolds, head coach of the women’s basketball team, says that he is following the protocols to a “T.”
“This is the best way to create as safe a practice environment as possible, and I have complete trust in the precautions that we have instituted,” Reynolds said.