The NCAA on Wednesday released new guidance for fall training and competition amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 2021 Fall Training and Competition document includes testing, quarantine, isolation, and other athletic and nonathletic activity considerations for unvaccinated and fully vaccinated Tier 1 individuals. As previously defined, Tier 1 individuals are those with the highest exposure (for example, student-athletes, coaches, athletic trainers, physical therapists, medical staff, equipment staff and officials).
"Current vaccination rates remain inadequate to provide community-level immunity," NCAA chief medical officer Brian Hainline said. "It is essential that member schools work in concert with federal, state and local public health officials to develop COVID-19 prevention and management strategies that make sense for them."
The association cites “emergent evidence” on the highly transmissible delta variant of COVID-19 that suggests fully vaccinated individuals can become infected by the delta variant and transmit the virus to others even when asymptomatic. Importantly, individuals who are fully vaccinated have considerable protection from hospitalization and death from COVID-19, including the delta variant.
The NCAA guidance was developed in consultation with the NCAA Medical Advisory Group, American Medical Society for Sports Medicine Working Group and Autonomy 5 Medical Advisory Group.
The 2021 Fall Training and Competition guidance is intended to be consistent with guidance published by the federal government and its health agencies and reflective of relevant scientific and medical information available at the time of print. The guidance remains subject to revision as available data continues to emerge and evolve.