East Carolina University moved one step closer to welcoming athletic contests back to campus this week. According to a release from the athletic department, approximately 30 members of ECU’s football team returned to campus this week to begin voluntary workouts, as permitted by the NCAA.

Under the NCAA’s ruling on May 20, student-athletes could return to strength and conditioning facilities voluntarily beginning on June 1 and running through June 30. While no coaches are allowed to be present during the workouts, strength and conditioning coaches, athletic trainers and equipment personnel may be present for safety reasons, according to the release.

Athletes are also allowed eight hours of virtual activities per week where coaches and other support staff can participate. That period runs through the end of the month.

In order to be permitted back on campus and in the workout facilities, ECU student-athletes will be put through a week-long process designed to screen for COVID-19 as well as educate the players about how the virus is spread.

According to the release, student-athletes will be tested for coronavirus and quarantined until the results are available. They will also be put through a virtual team meeting where physical distancing rules and other important information about the coronavirus will be provided. Lastly, athletes will undergo a physical by an ECU team physician provided their coronavirus test comes back negative.

Per the release, facilities that will be available this week include the Cliff Moore Football Practice Complex, with the Murphy Center Strength & Conditioning Facility and Multi-Purpose Turf field opening next Monday, June 15.

At those facilities, workouts will be divided up into different windows with only nine student-athletes allowed to participate at a time. In addition, the release outlined six guidelines that must be followed on a daily basis to insure the safety of everyone involved.

Those include:

  • Daily temperature checks and a symptom survey
  • Physical distancing of at least six feet
  • Signage about mask procedures in workout facilities
  • Hand washing after each workout
  • Sanitation of equipment after each window of workouts
  • Only personal water bottles will be allowed and those will be sanitized by the athletic training staff every day.

If an athlete tests positive for the virus, they will be self-isolated for 14 days and receive continued check-ups by training and medical personnel, according to the release.

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