SMU announces June 15 return date for athletes, COVID-19 prevention measures

SMU student-athletes can finally return to campus beginning June 15 after being sent home in March due to COVID-19.

The SMU Athletics Task Force for a Healthy Opening created a three-phase plan with guidance from local and national health officials to ensure athletes and coaches safety, officials said.

As athletes arrive on campus, they will be tested for COVID-19 and for COVID-19 antibodies and must have daily temperature checks. International student-athletes will have to self-quarantine for 14 days before beginning the phases.

Phase I of SMU Athletics plan starts with a 14-day period that includes:

- Outdoor activity for groups up to 10 people while practicing social distancing

- No sharing of equipment, including water bottles and balls, for the first seven days

- No mixing groups of athletes per workout day

- No locker room access

- Weight room access after seven days for small groups

Phase II will begin after the first 14-day period and last for another two weeks. Groups would be allowed to meeting with up to 50 people and equipment can be shared but must follow strict cleaning routine.

During Phase III, athletes can share all equipment and begin contact activities. The school says health monitoring and contact tracing will be more important during the period.

Social distancing, face coverings, and an increase in sanitization are a part of all three phases.