UNLV To Welcome Back Some Student-Athletes Monday

Mandatory Coronavirus Testing, Wearing Of Face Masks

Paul Ihander
June 05, 2020 - 5:01 pm

UNLV Athletics, in accordance with guidelines from the State of Nevada, the Southern Nevada Health District, the UNLV COVID-19 Management Team, the Mountain West Conference and the NCAA, will begin to welcome back student-athletes to campus Monday for voluntary workouts.

Student-athletes in the sports of football, women's soccer and volleyball may return starting on June 8, while those from men's and women's basketball, cross country and men's soccer may return no earlier than June 15.

"We are encouraged by this first important step," said UNLV Director of Athletics Desiree Reed-Francois. "We have been working daily under the guidelines of our state, our campus and with the expertise from our Head Team Physician, Medical Director and Associate Professor at the UNLV School of Medicine Dr. Wade Gaal, and Brian Labus, Assistant Professor at the UNLV School of Public Health, who serves on the UNLV COVID-19 Management Team as well as the Governor's COVID-19 Medical Advisory Team. We have been thoughtful and methodical in defining our process in this phased-in approach.

"We are appreciative of the University's COVID Management Team for their leadership and guidance throughout this process. Taking into account the best practices and industry standards of national and world sporting organizations with the health and safety of student-athletes and staff being our number one priority and at the forefront of our decision making, our Recovery Task Force evaluated input at multiple levels. The primary focus was to map out a return to campus in a way that provides a safe and healthy environment for our student-athletes and mitigates risk, while preserving our mission."

"We are looking forward to our student-athletes having the opportunity to train under the precautions and policies constructed to ensure the highest level of safety," Dr. Gaal said. "It is critical that each and every student-athlete has an understanding of these policies and takes them to heart so that we can maintain the standard of care that is necessary to continue towards competition. This is only the beginning and the better we are with adhering to these policies, the better we will be in making the return to competitive sports a reality."

"The goal of the first phase of Return to Play is to allow our student-athletes to begin workouts, while mitigating the risk that comes with the slow resumption of campus activities," Labus said. "By limiting the number of people in our facilities, minimizing contact between them, and ensuring that we meet the highest standards of cleaning and sanitation, our student-athletes can safely begin to prepare for their upcoming seasons. We will continue to update our approach to match current best practices in order to provide the safest environment possible for our student-athletes as they return to campus."

The following guidelines have been implemented regarding the return of student-athletes to campus:

  • All student-athletes must self-quarantine for 14 days prior to any voluntary workouts.

  • All student-athletes, performance staff and coaches will undergo mandatory COVID-19 testing.

  • Student-athletes will be required to complete daily symptom screening and temperature checks upon entering a facility for a workout. A strict ingress/egress protocol has been established.

  • All social distancing and cleanliness protocols must be strictly adhered.

  • All student-athletes will be provided with cloth facial coverings and will be required to wear them at all times, following social distancing protocols; with the only exceptions during workouts.

  • All newcomers must complete high school graduation requirements and full physicals prior to workouts. 

  • All student-athletes and staff must complete mandatory protocol training.

  • Limited laundry services will be provided in a systematic manner but locker rooms will remain closed until further notice.

  • Robust and enhanced sanitation procedures have been put in place.

  • All other dates for the return of other sports are to be determined.

As this is an ever-evolving situation, UNLV Athletics will continue to employ all available resources and amend as needed as further information is made available and based on guidance from the State of Nevada, the SNHD, the UNLV COVID-19 Management Team, the Mountain West Conference and the NCAA.