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Cal Basketball

Student Athletes May Return For Voluntary Outdoor Workouts

June 17, 2020

BERKELEY – Cal student-athletes may begin returning to campus in preparation for voluntary outdoor conditioning workouts under a comprehensive plan that follows strict medical guidelines to support participants' health and well-being.

In line with the City of Berkeley public health order and following guidelines set by physicians at University Health Services and other medical experts, student-athletes are only able to partake in voluntary outdoor activities in small cohorts, such as conditioning and running, supervised by Cal Athletic Performance staff.
"With the health and safety of our student-athletes our highest priority, we have been deliberate every step of the way in developing this plan, coordinating with and relying on the expertise of local, state and federal experts to guide our process," Director of Athletics Jim Knowlton said. "With information and conditions changing rapidly, we believe that we have a system that allows our student-athletes to return to campus for voluntary workouts with structures in place to mitigate risk, to manage issues that may arise and to adjust as necessary to meet the current environment and public health guidelines."

Football student-athletes will be the first to return, followed by other student-athletes and teams in small groups through a systematic approach over the course of the summer. The plan is in line with recent announcements by the Pac-12 and NCAA to permit schools to open campus facilities for voluntary sessions this month.

"We have put a plan in place that provides very specific guidelines and safeguards that will support the health of our student-athletes and staff," said Dr. Lindsay Huston, Cal's head team physician. "It relies on input from some of the top infectious disease experts in the country – from our own School of Public Health and elsewhere – as well as collaborative work with the Pac-12 COVID-19 Medical Advisory Committee. We are also well-prepared for the possibility that in two weeks, a month, three months, things could look very different, so we will have to continue to adapt and be flexible as conditions change."
Prior to returning to campus, all student-athletes and staff must complete mandatory educational training, which includes information on COVID-19 signs, symptoms, evaluation, testing, as well as infection prevention and control. This is in addition to any university-required training and is specific to athletic activities.

Prior to beginning athletic activities, all student-athletes will quarantine in their residences for seven days, and they will undergo an antibody test, a COVID-19 test and a physical exam before being cleared to participate.

All student-athletes and staff will follow specific protocols every time they enter an athletic facility, including temperature checks (via a touchless thermometer) and symptom screening (using an electronic questionnaire). Each person will have a scheduled entry time to maintain physical distancing from arrival through departure. Specific protocols are in place should anyone test positive or have symptoms of COVID-19, including isolation.

The number of people allowed in facilities at any one time will be limited, and student-athletes will work out in cohorts of 10. Facial coverings are required at all times.

Initially, workouts will be held outside at California Memorial Stadium and Maxwell Family Field only, and other outdoor facilities will be used once more student-athletes are cleared for workouts. At this time, no equipment may be used. Additional activities, such as indoor weight training, will be allowed once approved by Berkeley Public Health.

"We are excited that our football student-athletes will soon be able to begin voluntary workouts on campus," football coach Justin Wilcox said. "As we have done since the pandemic began, we will continue to rely on the expertise of medical experts to help guide us as we approach the fall season."

For additional information, please see:

Voluntary Workout FAQ

UC Berkeley Coronavirus Information

NCAA Coronavirus Information

Pac-12 Coronavirus Updates


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