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NCAA: New COVID guidance for championships

Fully vaccinated student-athletes and others in team travel parties may be exempt from routine coronavirus testing or quarantine procedures for NCAA championships starting Saturday, the NCAA announced Thursday.

In a release updating recommendations from the NCAA COVID-19 medical advisory group, the NCAA said fully vaccinated and Tier 1 individuals with no COVID-19-like symptoms do not need to quarantine, be restricted from work or get tested after exposure to someone suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19. A Tier 1 individual is someone with the highest risk of exposure at championships, including team travel parties and officials.

The advisory group met this week to discuss the most recent recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control. The CDC considers individuals to be fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving either a single-dose vaccine or the second shot of a two-dose vaccine.

The NCAA also notes that if there is evidence of substantial or high transmission in the community or if there are COVID-19 variants resistant to the vaccine, then testing might need to resume for fully vaccinated individuals. Those decisions will be made in conjunction with local public health authorities and/or federal guidance.

In addition, if state or local authorities require vaccinated individuals to be tested, their guidance will supersede the updated NCAA policy.

On Tuesday, the SEC and Sun Belt announced the same update to their coronavirus testing and quarantine procedures for fully vaccinated individuals.

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