Michigan State student-athletes will be able to return to campus starting June 15 to begin the process of voluntary summer workouts, according to a university press release. Football, men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball players will be the first to undergo testing.
Student-athletes who choose to return will report to the Clara Bell Smith Student-Athlete Academic Center on June 15 to be tested for COVID-19. After being tested, student-athletes must self-isolate in their on- or off-campus housing for one week. Any athlete who tested negative for COVID-19 the first time will be administered another COVID-19 test. After two consecutive negative tests, they'll be permitted to begin voluntary workouts with small groups based on who they live with. Student-athletes who test positive will be quarantined for 10 days.
In addition to student-athletes returning, MSU athletic staff members will be allowed to return as well and will undergo the same health procedures. The staff permitted to return are strength and conditioning coaches, athletic trainers, equipment and facility staff and any coach who plans to meet with student-athletes. However, those coaches may not participate in any workouts as only the strength and conditioning coaches and athletic trainers are permitted to be present at workouts.
"We are excited to welcome our student-athletes back to campus," Athletic Director Bill Beekman said in the press release. "Our staff has put together a comprehensive plan with a clear priority on the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes. The strict protocols will allow our student-athletes to safely work out and begin to prepare for a return to competition."
MSU will also be instituting a variety of other safety protocols for student-athletes. They will be given face masks and mandated to wear them unless they are working out, they will receive a water bottle specific to them to bring to each workout and any equipment or areas they use will be sanitized after each workout in addition to areas heavy with traffic. Locker rooms and team lounges will remain closed and rehabilitation appointments will not be on a drop-in basis, but rather by appointment only. With locker rooms being closed, athletes are asked to be dressed for the workout upon entry and will be provided clean clothes for the following day's workout.
Each program for the specific building also has separate guidelines. For the football program, any person entering the Duffy Daughtery/Skandalaris Football building will be administered a temperature check and a screening for COVID-19 symptoms. Only one entrance will be open for those permitted to enter with arrows placed in the building directing staff and athletes in one path.
Men’s and women’s basketball and the volleyball athletes will also only be using one entry into the Breslin Center and will undergo the same health check upon entry each day.
"In implementing our plan we considered guidance from many experts," MSU's Health Care Chief Clinical and Medical Officer Dr. Anthony Avellino said in the release. "Our only priority was the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes. Understanding that our knowledge surrounding COVID-19 continues to evolve, we will continue to monitor the latest medical and public health information available and make adjustments as warranted."