University of Oregon athletes can return to school facilities for voluntary workouts in small groups beginning on Monday.
The school shut down its campus in March due to COVID-19 and scheduled remote classes for the spring and summer quarters. The University plans to conduce in-person classes when fall term is slated to begin on Sept. 29.
In a press release, the school said its reopening process comes “under strict guidelines intended to support health and safety and reduce the potential for an outbreak of the novel coronavirus.”
All Pac-12 schools have been given permission to resume athletic activities on Monday and the Oregon Health Authority will allow Oregon and Oregon State to begin on that date.
The UO will begin by allowing football players “in small cohorts” to access the facilities along with athletes from other fall sports who remained in Eugene for the spring. Other teams will have a “staggered return”, according to the school, which added that all student-athletes and staff members have been educated on protocols.
“The voluntary workout programs will be conducted using guidelines prepared by the Pac-12’s Medical Advisory Board and the UO Incident Management Team, and within the guidance provided by the Governor’s office, Oregon Health Authority and Lane County Public Health,” according to the press release.
UO’s plan was designed by Dr. Craig Davidson, the director of athletic medicine, and Kim Terrell, the senior associate director of athletic medicine. Both Davidson and Terrell are on the Pac-12 Medical Advisory board.
Weight rooms, indoor and outdoor practice facilities and Matthew Knight Arena will all be available for use by athletes in small groups who must wear face coverings and maintain physical distancing. The school has a plan for increased sanitation as well as frequent cleaning of all weight equipment following each use.
Some Oregon athletes began returning to Eugene in recent weeks to self-quarantine.
All athletes who are not back in town have been asked to monitor any symptoms for seven days before leaving their hometown and isolate for seven days upon arriving in Eugene. All will be tested for acute viral infections and conduct a physical.
Any players who test positive for COVID-19 will be moved to a secure environment for at least 10 days and conduct contact tracing before being allowed to return to workouts. All positive tests will be reported to Lane County Public Health.
Any athletes who use UO facilities will undergo a screening for symptoms as well as temperature checks. Locker rooms, lounges and dining facilities will not be open, but food will be available for to-go orders.
All team meetings will continue to be held virtually.