7 negative virus tests among tourney protocols
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The NCAA on Wednesday announced its health and safety protocols for the 2020 men’s basketball tournament, set to take place entirely in Indianapolis and the surrounding areas in March and April.
The most significant protocol involves testing. All Tier 1 travel party participants — which includes student-athletes, coaches, trainers, physical therapists, medical and equipment staff, and officials — will have to show seven consecutive negative COVID-19 tests before arriving in Indianapolis. Tier 1 individuals will then undergo daily PCR testing upon arrival and throughout the tournament.
Tier 1 individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days, are at least two weeks post-infection and are asymptomatic will not be required to undergo daily testing, nor will individuals who are at least two weeks removed from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
All Tier 1 participants will also be required to wear KINEXON movement devices during the tournament, including at practices and games, to assist with contact tracing and quarantining.
The protocols were decided by the NCAA in conjunction with the Marion County Public Health Department.
“Our emphasis is on the safety and well-being of everyone participating in the event,” NCAA chief medical officer Dr. Brian Hainline said in a statement. “By working with local health officials to develop protocols and administer COVID-19 testing, we are confident we will provide a safe environment for student-athletes, coaches, administrators and officials.”
The NCAA will announce its final attendance policy after Feb. 1 but said Wednesday that up to six family members per Tier 1 participant will be allowed in each venue per game, capping the attendance number at 420.
All teams will stay in Marion County hotels. The NCAA announced earlier this week that four Marriott properties connected to the Indiana Convention Center will house the teams.
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