It's been said time and again that we as a society are entering a "new normal" with the coronavirus pandemic and everything else going on in the country right now. With the coronavirus shutdown lifting and a second wave allegedly on the horizon, college athletics is working on a plan to get back on campus and back to the field.

Texas Tech has revealed its plan this week as football players and more get back to work. The first step to the athletic department's plan will be that all student-athletes and staff will undergo testing this week for COVID-19 as part of the return to campus. June 15th marks the first day that the Red Raider football student-athletes return to voluntary strength and conditioning activities.

The Texas Tech plan was developed by the Texas Tech sports medicine staff and its team physician Dr. Michael Phy and supported by the City of Lubbock Health Department.

The coronavirus test and antibody test will be given to all athletes that volunteer to participate in voluntary workouts. Nearly 100 student-athletes have acknowledged they plan to participate at this time. All football-related staff will also be tested.

If a positive test does occur, the Houston Cougars had six this week, the affected student-athlete will be self-isolated and receive care from the Texas Tech's sports medicine staff. If the student-athlete has roommates they will also be self-isolated. Student-athletes will also submit a daily online assessment of symptoms prior to their arrival to the facility and will have daily temperature checks in addition to daily surveillance from Texas Tech’s sports medicine staff.

The locker room will be basically off-limits during the voluntary workouts. Everyone will dress off-campus and shower at home. In the weight room, individual weight racks have already been separated by 10 feet inside the Football Training Facility weight room. For conditioning activity on the outdoor practice fields, Texas Tech will separate student-athletes by five yards each. The social distancing protocols also include procedures to prevent cross-contamination on workout equipment.

Everyone will be wearing masks.

All meals and snacks will be distributed as pre-packaged and for carry-out.

 

The workouts will be staggered in groups in 90-minutes spurts followed by a 30-minute period for all weight room equipment to be cleaned. Hand sanitizer will also be readily available throughout the facility for all student-athletes and staff. The entire facility will also be cleaned every day.