ACC's COVID Policy and Its Impact for the Pack

Reference guide for ACC's policy on COVID19 testing, guidelines and forfeits. Ya know, a policy that we could have used in Omaha.

Aug 31, 2021 3 min read
ACC's COVID Policy and Its Impact for the Pack

I can not wait for this damn pandemic to be over with but for now we have to deal with it.  Will went through the ACC's COVID policy and made some notes as it pertains to NC State and our desire to avoid another Omaha-hose-job.

To see NC State's Carter-Finley COVID Policy's go here

Here’s the summary of the Medical Advisory Group for ACC (Link to PDF) but Will's version is much easier to read.

Key Notes:

  • Doeren has indicated team is above 90% for vaccinated players
  • Fully vaccinated individuals are not required to participate in a surveillance testing regime.
  • Teams above 85%, with no active cases, may relax mitigation strategies such as distancing, masking in meeting, at meals, while traveling.
  • Testing must be administered to unvaccinated student-athletes, coaches, sport support staff who have significant interaction with student-athletes, individuals designated in a team’s travel party and anyone else determined by the institution to be in regular close contact with student-athletes.
  • Whether the coaches and staff are vaccinated matters as they will not be allowed to travel with the team unless State’s administration gives an exemption.
  • Testing of symptomatic individuals is required.
  • There is some nuance on testing to be aware of if we hear an early report:
  • A positive Antigen test can be overridden with a negative molecular (PCR) test within 24 hours.
  • A positive molecular (PCR) test shall not be overridden by subsequent negative tests unless a laboratory error is confirmed.

  • Absent a team “cluster” (see below), vaccinated individuals have no surveillance testing, no mask requirements.
  • Fully vaccinated and asymptomatic individuals are not required to quarantine following exposure to COVID-19.
  • Stricter requirements by local and state health departments may supersede this guidance.
  • Teams at or above the 85.0% vaccination rate shall meet a minimum testing standard of one molecular (PCR) test per week for unvaccinated individuals.
  • Teams below 85.0% vaccination rate shall meet a minimum testing standard of three molecular (PCR) tests per week for unvaccinated individuals.
  • Clusters: Even on vaccinated teams, testing all student-athletes on a particular team, regardless of vaccination, is required if the team has a cluster of student-athletes infected concurrently. A “cluster” is defined as greater or equal to three (3) student-athletes or five percent (5%) of the student-athletes on that team, whichever is greater.
  • For reference this likely means 5 players at one time in football due to walk-ons, or 3 basketball players due to smaller roster size.
  • In all sports, positive test results of any individual who came into close contact (within six (6) feet for at least 15 minutes) with any member(s) of any opposing team(s) played during the preceding 48 hours shall be shared as quickly as possible and no later than 24 hours following receipt of the test result, to any such opponent(s). The infected individual’s role (e.g., setter, offensive lineman, quarterback, assistant coach, athletic trainer) and a summary of their interactions with the opposing team (e.g., played in the second half) shall be included in the information sharing.

Contact Tracing / Quarantine

  • Contact tracing is still in effect and defined as prolonged contact within six feet for at least 15 minutes.
  • As noted above, fully vaccinated and asymptomatic individuals are not required to quarantine following exposure to COVID-19.
  • If identified through contact tracing and unvaccinated:
  • Quarantine can end after 14 days without required testing
  • Quarantine can end after Day 10 without testing and if no symptoms have been reported during daily monitoring; or
  • When diagnostic testing resources are sufficient and available, then quarantine can end after Day 7 if a diagnostic specimen tests negative, if no symptoms were reported during daily monitoring.  The testing can be done 48 hours before the end of Day 7 if team desires to avoid delays but quarantine cannot be discontinued prior to Day 7.
  • If an individual tests positive they will be isolated for at least 10 days from onset of symptoms/postive test and at least 1 day has passed with resolution of fever/improvement of cough / shortness of breath.
  • An individual who has tested positive is not subject to surveillance testing for a period of 150 days from the date of the positive test unless the individual exhibits symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (even those with minimal symptoms). At such time, the individual will be required to be tested.

Forfeit Considerations

  1. Inability to isolate new positive cases, or to quarantine high contact risk cases of the traveling and home team University students.
  2. Unavailability or inability to perform symptomatic, surveillance or pre-competition testing as required.
  3. Campus-wide or local community transmission rates that are considered unsafe by local public health officials, even amongst vaccinated athletes.
  4. Inability to perform adequate contact tracing consistent with governmental requirements or recommendations.
  5. Local public health officials of the home team state that there is an inability for the hospital infrastructure to accommodate a surge in COVID-related hospitalizations.

Miscellaneous

  • Teams may be required to wear masks on the bench, regardless of status, at discretion of home institutions.
  • During off-season training, during or outside the academic year, when athletic activity more closely approximates the general student body, an institution shall institute standards at its discretion

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