HEALTH AND SAFETY PROTOCOLS
Athletes Unlimited has partnered with several organizations to develop the health and safety protocols described here, including Environmental Health & Engineering; Sports Innovation Lab; and Dr. Lucia Mullen, Dr. Crystal Watson, and Dr. Caitlin Rivers. Athletes Unlimited reserves the right to update these protocols as needed.
Starting in January 2022, Athletes Unlimited will require all athletes, staff, and contractors to be fully vaccinated in order to participate in any league activities. Starting with Volleyball 2022, boosters will be required.
All athletes and all essential staff are recommended to test prior to arrival. All athletes and essential staff will be tested with a Lucira test, a COVID-19 PCR quality at-home test.
Individuals who test positive for the virus must self-isolate for a minimum of five (5) days as recommended by the CDC.
During the first week of the season, athletes will receive general physicals and establish a baseline for symptom monitoring and injury prevention. Once individuals are cleared for league activities, they will be tested regularly until the end of their contractual commitment to the season. All contractors, production crew, and other 3rd party vendors will be tested weekly on the first day of competition each week. All athletes and essential staff will be tested twice weekly.
Rapid tests, which deliver results within 15-30 minutes, will be administered on scheduled in-season testing dates. If an individual tests positive on the rapid test they will be tested with a Lucira PCR test. If the result of the PCR test is positive, then the player or essential staff will self-isolate for a minimum of 5 days as recommended by the CDC, with day zero being the day they tested positive. If a non-essential staff tests positive, they will be required to leave the premises and can return to work after the isolation period.
GENERAL PREVENTATIVE MEASURES
All athletes, staff, contractors, production crew, and other 3rd party vendors have been asked to attend informational sessions with members of the Athletes Unlimited team to review policies, protocols, and best practices for preventing the spread of COVID-19, which include:
- Wearing face coverings/face masks;
- Maintaining at least 6 feet of distance between individuals;
- Practicing good personal hygiene, such as washing hands frequently and refraining from touching the face or face covering;
- Opening windows and turning air circulation systems to the highest setting; and
- Regularly sanitizing high-contact surfaces.
In addition, athletes and essential staff are not permitted to eat in indoor restaurants and bars. Only outdoor establishments may be visited. Only personnel that agree to follow these above protocols are allowed to be in contact with players during league activities.
Athletes Unlimited provides safe, frequent, and socially distanced cleaning of venues, residences, and equipment.
POSITIVE COVID-19 TEST PROCEDURE
In the event that an individual tests positive for COVID-19, the individual must self-isolate, and comply with all requests and tests from medical professionals. The individual is prohibited from participating in any league activities until cleared by the medical team for re-entry.
Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 and are symptomatic are required to remain in isolation for a minimum of 5 days after onset of symptoms. Individuals will be monitored frequently by a medical professional to make a determination on when the player can re-enter competition.
Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 but are asymptomatic must also enter into isolation for a minimum of 5 days and comply with all requests and tests from medical professionals. Should the individual develop symptoms during the quarantine period, they will then be monitored as a symptomatic individual.
Athletes who must observe isolation protocols during the season may be replaced by an alternative player, depending on the nature, timing, and duration of the infection, as well as the needs of the roster. Once the athlete recovers, they are permitted to re-enter competition and resume accumulating points from where they left off.
Once cleared, the individual must continue to wear a face mask at all times for 5 days, maintain 6 feet of distance from others whenever possible, and practice good personal hygiene. Once this period has ended, the individual may participate in practices and games without wearing a mask.
Athletes and essential staff who are considered high-risk for severe illness related to COVID-19 must self-identify their condition(s) to the medical team and work with their primary care provider, their teammates, the medical team, and the league to take special care during league activities. Categories include:
- Individuals aged 65 and older
- Individuals who suffer from chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
- Individuals who are immunocompromised from solid organ transplant
- Individuals with a BMI of 30 or higher
- Individuals who experience serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, and cardiomyopathies
- Individuals with sickle cell disease
- Individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus
- Individuals who are pregnant
- Individuals who smoke
For more information on our complete set of COVID-19 protocols, which have been developed in collaboration with institutions like Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Environmental Health & Engineering, you may find our documentation here.