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SEC announces new COVID-19 safety measures for fall season

The SEC will be requiring most athletes to be tested twice a week and will require masks on the sidelines.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Southeastern Conference announced its latest COVID-19 management requirements for the fall athletics season.

The SEC will be requiring testing by a third-party provider before competitions. For football, soccer and volleyball, athletes and others in direct contact will receive a PCR test at least twice a week during competition. It is also looking at alternative methods to facilitate a third rapid test each week.

For cross-country, the SEC said athletes will receive a test at least once a week that occurs three days prior to competitions.

Football, soccer and volleyball players and staff will be required to wear face coverings on the sideline and be spread out as far as possible. In cross-country, athletes will need to wear coverings up until they are able to distance themselves at the starting line. Coaches and staff will need to wear them during pre and post competition.

Anyone who tests positive during the season will be required to isolate for at least 10 days. Athletes will be required to undergo a cardiac evaluation, team physician's clearance, and will need to have a period of acclimatization when they return.

Those presumed to have been infected will be required to isolate and be tested.

Those suspected to have been exposed to COVID-19 in close contact but haven't tested positive will be required to quarantine for 14 days per national guidelines. Athletes who already positive for COVID-19 before will not be required to quarantine, though.

All SEC schools will be required to have a COVID-19 protocol oversight officer who is responsible for making sure athletes and staff are following the SEC's safety measures. 

The SEC announced in July student-athletes who choose not to participate in sports during the fall 2020 season due to safety concerns from COVID-19 will be able to keep their scholarships and will remain in good standing with their team.

You can read the SEC's full recommendations below: