THE FLATS – Following guidance from Georgia Tech administration, the University System of Georgia (USG), Georgia Governor Brian Kemp’s office and public health officials, Georgia Tech athletics will begin Phase II of its facilities reopening plan on June 29.
In Phase II, all Georgia Tech football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball student-athletes will be invited to return to campus to participate in voluntary athletic activities, utilizing campus housing for those who live on campus. For all other sports, student-athletes that are local to the Atlanta area will continue to be invited to utilize on-campus facilities for voluntary activities.
Additionally, Georgia Tech will open up athletic facilities beyond weight rooms and athletic training areas for student-athletes to utilize for voluntary activities. These facilities include practice fields and courts, batting cages and Griffin Track.
Per NCAA guidelines, all physical activities are voluntary at this time. Voluntary activities may not be observed by coaching and/or sport-specific non-coaching staff, nor may reporting be communicated to coaching staff. Strength and conditioning activities will be monitored by strength and conditioning and sports medicine staff members to ensure safety.
The plan to implement Phase II of Georgia Tech athletics’ facilities reopening plan comes on the heels of the successful implementation of Phase I, which began on Monday, June 15. In Phase I, Georgia Tech student-athletes in the Atlanta area have been invited to utilize on-campus weight rooms and athletic training facilities on a voluntary basis.
With safety of student-athletes and staff remaining the No. 1 priority, Phase II policies include that:
- student-athletes are encouraged to self-isolate for 14 days prior to their return to campus (student-athletes that are eligible to return to campus as part of Phase II were encouraged to begin self-isolation at the beginning of this week);
- the Georgia Tech sports medicine staff will conduct phone interviews with student-athletes, and student-athletes will be required to complete a health check questionnaire prior to their return to campus;
- student-athletes will be tested for Covid-19 prior to being cleared to participate in any on-campus activities;
- student-athletes will be required to make an appointment to utilize all facilities;
- student-athletes and staff will be required to complete a daily health check questionnaire prior to arriving on campus;
- temperature checks will be administered to student-athletes and staff upon arrival at the facility;
- groups will be limited to no more than 10 student-athletes and two staff members inside a facility at one time (groups will be reduced for smaller facilities) and social distancing will be required;
- student-athlete groupings will remain consistent throughout Phase II;
- all equipment and facilities will be thoroughly sanitized after each use;
- student-athletes will not be permitted to share towels or water bottles;
- student-athletes will receive continuous education regarding priorities to mitigate the risk of contracting and/or spreading Covid-19;
- student-athletes that exhibit symptoms of Covid-19 during Phase II will be isolated/quarantined at his/her local residence and referred for Covid-19 testing;
- contact tracing for a student-athlete that tests positive for Covid-19 will be referred to the Georgia Department of Public Health and Stamps Student Health Center, with support and assistance from Georgia Tech sports medicine to ensure a rapid response.
During Phase II of the facilities reopening plan, Georgia Tech athletics staff members will continue to be encouraged to work remotely, with the exception of those who must be on-campus to support student-athlete activities and perform other essential tasks. The June 29 date for the beginning of Phase II of Georgia Tech athletics’ facilities reopening plan is subject to change if guidance from campus, USG, state and public health authorities is modified. Phase III of Georgia Tech athletics’ facilities reopening plan has yet to be finalized and a date for the third phase to begin has yet to be determined.
STATEMENT FROM DIRECTOR OF ATHLETICS TODD STANSBURY
“I’m very pleased to announce that we intend to begin Phase II of our facilities reopening plan on June 29. This is another step in deliberately and safely welcoming our student-athletes back to campus for the 2020-21 academic year. Like I said prior to Phase I, I’m grateful for everyone that has put so much hard work into formulating a plan for our student-athletes to be able to ramp up activities in the safety of our athletic facilities. We’ve received nothing but positive feedback from student-athletes about how excited they were to return for Phase I, and I’m confident that will be the case for Phase II as well.
“Like I also said prior to Phase I, implementing Phase II of our re-opening plan is another positive step towards beginning our upcoming seasons as scheduled, including our football season opener versus Clemson on Sept. 3 at Bobby Dodd Stadium. We are continuing to fully plan to do so, should guidance from the Institute, the University System of Georgia, Governor Brian Kemp’s office, public health officials, the NCAA and the ACC allow it.”
The Alexander-Tharpe Fund is the fundraising arm of Georgia Tech athletics, providing scholarship, operations and facilities support for Georgia Tech’s 400-plus student-athletes. Be a part of developing Georgia Tech’s Everyday Champions and helping the Yellow Jackets compete for championships at the highest levels of college athletics by supporting the A-T Fund’s Annual Athletic Scholarship Fund, which directly provides scholarships for Georgia Tech student-athletes, and Athletics Initiative 2020, Georgia Tech athletics’ ongoing $125 million initiative to allow Tech to recruit the nation’s most elite student-athletes, build a better student-athlete once they arrive on The Flats and, ultimately, win! To learn more about supporting the Yellow Jackets, visit atfund.org.