In accord with the Pennsylvania Department of Education guidance issued June 3, 2020, this Health and Safety Plan has been developed by Saint Vincent College and Seminary for the resumption of face-to-face instruction and residential living. This document will be reviewed weekly by the Forward Together Advisory Committee. This Plan will be revised if conditions change and/or new guidance is received from federal, state, and local officials.
At this time, a variety of vendors (including Janitors Supply, Colker Janitorial Supplies, Steratore Janitorial Supplies, and Allegheny Supply) have indicated that a supply chain for sufficient cleaning and disinfecting is available for the 2020-21 academic year. Saint Vincent will continue routine cleaning to remove dirt and germs from surfaces in accordance with CDC guidelines. High touch surfaces will be routinely cleaned, then disinfected using an EPA-approved disinfectant.
When notified of a positive or probable COVID-19 case, enhanced cleaning and disinfecting of affected living area or workspaces will be initiated. After notification of positive test, any space that the positive COVID-19 individual occupied 48 hours prior to the notification will be cleaned and disinfected following the CDC and PADOH guidelines.
Revised January 21, 2021
This document is a guideline of standards to be followed by the athletic department in order to permit the resumption of collegiate athletic participation in the fall of 2020. These recommendations are based mainly on the UPMC Sports Medicine Playbook: Return to Sports During COVID-19 Minimum Guidelines which was written based on science and a team of experts across many fields of study. However, even with such expert backing, we cannot guarantee the prevention of COVID-19 nor any other illness or infection. Playing contact sports and participating in activities with numerous people does increase the risk of contracting COVID-19.
All state and federal guidelines that are in effect for COVID-19 must still be followed. As the COVID-19 pandemic is constantly changing with scientific discovery and education, these guidelines are subject to updates. Continuation of knowledge released by the CDC and PA Health Department must be followed closely and these recommendations updated as needed. In addition, these guidelines are consistent with the guidance put together by the Saint Vincent College Forward Together Committee and are in addition to the provisions of the Saint Vincent College Health and Safety plan.
These recommendations are in place to decrease the chance of contracting COVID-19 while promoting social distancing, personal hygiene, and personal protective equipment (PPE). Saint Vincent is not liable for any student-athlete (S-A) that contracts COVID-19 or any other illness or infection while participating in any Saint Vincent College related athletic activity. By participating in varsity athletics at Saint Vincent College, all student-athletes, support staff and coaches agree to do their part and abide by the provisions in this document.
The NCAA recommends six-week acclimatization to recondition athletes, reintroduce socialization, and help reduce the spread of COVID-19 by an S-A, coach, student worker, or athletic department personnel.
Sport team preseason camps should be canceled for the Fall 2020 season. All S-A should return with the general population of students. At least 16 days before arrival on campus, all S-As will be contacted by their coach and sent a COVID-19 screening form. The S-A will have 48 hours to return this form to their coach. All forms will then be given to the appropriate athletic trainer for review. If any symptoms or fever are present, athlete will be asked to contact their physician to be tested for COVID-19.
Once the pre-arrival COVID-19 screening is completed, the S-A will be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days before coming to campus. This will include limiting outside the home exposure limiting their contact with other individuals and avoiding large gatherings. If outside exposure is necessary, S-A must wear a mask and practice social distancing when appropriate.
Upon arrival on campus S-A will again complete a COVID-19 screening and have their temperature taken with a non-contact thermometer. If symptoms or fever present, athlete will not be permitted to remain on campus. He/she will return home, contact their physician, and be tested for COVID-19.
During phase one, virtual educational sessions will be conducted for all S-A that will cover policies related to the S-A participation in varsity athletics at Saint Vincent, including sessions on drug testing, COVID-19, personal protective equipment, athletic training room policy, weight room policy, locker-room policy and day to day procedures. Both the S-A and all members of the coaching staff must participate in and complete these mandatory online sessions.
Once the S-A is cleared to return to campus by both the pre-arrival and on-campus screenings, he/she may move to their appropriate housing. In order to minimize risk, it is recommended, but not required, that the S-A consider having a single room. While in this phase, the S-A should be masked when in contact with other individuals. For team activities, the teams may place S-A in groups of 10. The groups must remain constant throughout phases two through four. The coach assigned to a group must remain constant, and where possible, coaches should not work with multiple groups. Team meetings should be held virtually when possible.
Vulnerable S-As, athletics health care providers, coaches, and athletics personnel should continue to shelter in place. It is also recommended that anyone flying in from a hot zone to continue to shelter in place during this entire phase. This phase will last until August 27th for fall sports.
During phase two, S-A should not leave campus to go home or to other off-campus housing. S-As who do not live off-campus and who chose to leave campus and spend the night somewhere other than their on-campus residence hall room will need to be cleared once again to enter phase three.
During the first week of phase two, pre-participation screening and testing may be done in the groups of 10 or less. Again, masks must be worn for these activities. During phase two, the groups of 10 may begin non-contact workouts. Masks must be worn at all times unless physically participating in a drill. This includes when on the sidelines or taking breaks. Coaching staff and support staff should be masked at all times. Social distancing should be practiced during these non-contact workouts.
Competitions of high risk only or all sports may be cancelled for the fall of 2020 due to concerns of the health and safety of S-A. If this is the case, fall sports teams will be permitted to practice under a plan to be developed by the Athletic Department as determined by the Athletic Director and the Sports Medicine Team, with input provided by the coach. The number of days and weeks permitted for fall sports practice may be limited by such a plan. Roster size, facilities, risk levels and overall S-A wellness will be taken into consideration when developing the non-competition practice place for those fall sports which have been cancelled or postpone. Plans may change due to NCAA, PAC, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and/or CDC requirements.
Once the plan has been developed for each team affected, the coach will be notified when practices can begin. Teams will start in and following the requirements beginning with Phase 2 as set out above. During Phase 2, S-A will be required to attend all practices unless practice is held during a scheduled class time. If the S-A misses a Phase 2 session, he/she will need to make up that session at another time on that same day or on another prearranged practice date, unless the coach permits the use of a countable practice day. This must occur to not waste the NCAA assigned number of practice days permitted.
Non-traditional season for spring sports will follow the same restrictions, possibly with fewer weeks and days permitted than fall teams. Non-traditional season for spring sports will also be permitted to practice under a plan developed by the Athletic Department and Sports Medicine Team, with input provided by the coach. However, this may depend on PAC or NCAA regulations.
Under no circumstances will a team be permitted to begin practices without the permission of the Athletic Department.
Decreasing the risk of contracting COVID-19 is achieved by cleaning and disinfecting all areas and personal belongings. It will not only be the responsibility of Facilities Management Operations (FMO) to actively participate in sanitization and disinfecting but of everyone on campus. To ensure a reduction in the potential spread of COVID-19, the following will be in place:
The following screening tool can be used to identify people that are either symptomatic or asymptomatic with a temperature. Although not every person that identifies with the following symptoms will have COVID-19, by conducting screenings daily for COVID-19 we are taking precautions to prevent the spread if someone unknowingly had the virus. By asking these simple questions and taking a daily temperature, we can help identify people who may need medical care or isolation, and reduce the chances of an outbreak on campus. All S-As and athletic staff will be subject to daily screenings.
All student-athletes and athletic staff will complete a daily health questionnaire and undergo a daily temperature check. Answers of yes to any of the symptoms or having a temperature of 99.5 F or higher will result in the student-athlete, coach, or support staff being pulled from practice or competition. If the individual answered no to all questions and has an elevated temperature, the individual will be seated in an area away from others with face mask on and temperature will be rechecked after 5 minutes. Those that still have elevated temperature or have answered yes to questions will be instructed to wear a cloth mask over nose and mouth until cleared by a physician. He or she will also be placed in an isolation room or area. If no isolation area available they will be physically distanced from others by at least ten feet. The Wellness Center will be consulted and if needed testing will be ordered.
Daily screening questions will be asked, along with the recording of the temperature. Questionnaire are available on SWOL for S-A to access.
Taking the temperature of either the S-A or staff member will be done in the following manner. Temperature takers need to keep as much distance as possible between them and the individual being screened. Screeners should wash their hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Face coverings should be worn by each person.
Beginning Wednesday, April 7th, 2021, temperature checks will no longer be required for practices and lifting sessions. This is in response to the lack of findings of any positive case via temperature check. Temperature checks will still be required prior to PAC competitions until that policy is updated.
Should an S-A become ill, have a fever, or answer yes to any of the screening questions, he or she should immediately be removed from the group. The S-A needs to be masked if not already and isolated. The Wellness Center should be contacted to determine if testing for COVID-19 is recommended for this individual or anyone else in contact with S-A. If it is determined that COVID-19 testing needs to be done, testing will be arranged through an appropriate provider, and in accordance with Saint Vincent College policy. The S-A will remain in isolation until cleared by the team or school physician.
The positively tested S-A may not return to play without cardiac evaluation and a minimum of 14 days from the onset of symptoms. The S-A will need evaluation and clearance documentation by the team physician.
Student-athletes who are referred for a COVID-19 test, or who undergo testing for COVID-19 on their own, must notify the College of the results of the test. A copy of a positive COVID-19 test result must be presented to the athletic training staff.
When a S-A test is positive, contact tracing needs to be initiated. This is to identify other individuals that were in contact with the ill individual. Contact tracing will be done in accordance with Saint Vincent College’s Forward Together guidelines, which follows CDC and the Pennsylvania Departments of Education and Health guidelines.
The identity of a student who receives a positive result will not be shared by the College with anyone, except as required by law, to assist with contract tracing and to assist that student in receiving necessary care and instruction.
Competition and traveling are high-risk activities due to the difficulty of social distancing. Bus companies may limit the number of passengers according to CDC guidelines. Decreasing the travel party will eliminate the need for additional busses, but it will also decrease the spread if someone is infected. Standing or sitting on the sideline or bench at six feet apart is the current recommendation according to social distancing. Having an entire team dressed or not dress and present on the sideline or bench could be a danger.
Competition roster and travel roster limits need to be considered and planned prior to start of the season. It is the recommendation of the Healthy and Safety Committee of the PAC and the athletic department that home and away competition rosters be limited to the NCAA championship numbers. The NCAA competition roster and total travel party should be followed to account for S-A, coaches, and support staff.
The use of minivans and/or 15 passenger vans should be limited to very small groups. This is again to encourage social distancing and to slow the spread. When traveling in a van or on a charter bus, PPE must be utilized. All individuals must be masked and seated as far apart as possible. All travel party members are encouraged to wash hands prior to loading and after departing the vehicle.
Prior to traveling for any event, each coaching staff will be responsible for presenting a written plan to the athletic office on how to return a S-A to campus if he or she falls ill on the trip. The ill S-A is not to return on the bus or van with other team members. Recommendations for return to campus may involve contacting a parent, having a coach drive a minivan alone to the event, etc. These plans will be based on several factors including but not limited to: budget, coaching staff, and location. PPE must be given to the ill individual and they should be isolated as much as possible from others. Once they return to campus, the recommendations for ill S-A will be followed. Please be aware that the individual that drove the S-A back to campus may have to quarantine.
The PAC has implemented a screening questionnaire and temperature reading protocol. These will be done prior to leaving campus for any competition. For away competitions, the PAC has posted a Travel Party Form on the PAC website. This form will need to be completed by the coach and given to the authorized person assigned to the departure screening. The competition screening and temperature check will be very similar to Saint Vincent College’s daily screenings.
Travel party members (including coaches and supports staff) will be asked to arrive at the departure area at a specific time. The screening questionnaire and temperature checks will be conducted by a member of the sports medicine team when possible. If a member of the sports medicine team is not available at the arranged departure time, an authorized person will be named. Once the screening time has ended and all forms are signed, no further screenings will be conducted. The Travel Party Form must accompany the team to the event and return back to campus to be given to the ATC for that sport.
If an overnight trip or early departure is planned for a team, an authorized person will be assigned to conduct screenings and take temperatures before boarding the bus on the day of competition. This person will be instructed by the ATC on proper procedure.
There will only by one point of entry into the Student Activity Center Weight Room (SACWR). This will monitor traffic in and out of the SACWR, ensuring screenings and temperatures readings are complete. This will reduce the risk of someone that is symptomatic of entering the facility. Occupant capacity has been determined. Total occupancy will be reduced to 50% and may require the reconfiguration of the space, which may involve blocking off or removing equipment. This will be that maximum permitted in the SACWR including S-A, coaches, and staff. Visible signage should be present to remind all about social distancing and hand washing. A hand sanitation station will be made available at the entry of the SACWR that individuals will be instructed to use. Gloves will also be made available to S-A if desired. All individuals must enter the facility with a face mask on. Unless the S-A is doing high impact cardio activities, face mask should remain on at all times. All staff and coaches are to wear face masks at all times when interacting with S-As.
For sanitization and disinfecting guidelines, please refer to the above section.
To meet all social distancing requirements, locker rooms use may be assigned by groupings and time slots. Locker rooms must be evaluated for number of lockers present. Each locker room has a different allowable capacity. The allowable locker room capacity This number will be identified for each team by the athletic administration and sports medicine staff. Only the specified number of individuals may be present in the locker room at one time. This will permit the use of every other locker at one time. For larger locker rooms and teams, this may need to be divided into thirds.
Each group will be assigned 15 minutes with a 5-minute window between groups to prevent individuals from entering and exiting at the same time. (Example Group A 3pm-3:15pm, Group B 3:20-3:35pm) Groups should be set up by considering class schedules and then locker assignments are given after. LOCKERS CANNOT BE SHARED. If S-A missed their assigned time, S-A will need to wait until after the locker room is cleared out from the last assigned time.
This process must be determined by a member of the coaching staff to assure accuracy. It must also be monitored daily by an authorized person, preferably by a coach with larger teams. Coaches have the authority to adjust the timing of groups as the need to do so arises. Coaches may change window between slots as needed. The locker room must be clear of the scheduled group prior to the next group entering it. All individuals waiting to enter must adhere to social distancing protocol of 6 feet and not wait in hallway. The S-As must be at least 10 ft away from the locker room door. When entering/exiting and when present in locker room, individuals must be masked.
The locker room floors must be free of clothing, shoes, and debris. All personal items are to be kept in lockers. All practice clothing must be washed daily. All equipment should be wiped down after practice. See the sanitization and disinfecting section above for more guidelines.
If these policies and procedures are repeatedly violated by same individual(s), the individual(s) will be removed from practice and directed to the Athletic Administrators and/or other appropriate College officials for possible disciplinary action.
The following are recommendations and issues should be considered: