With COVID-19 canceling several games every day across the college basketball landscape, the NCAA needed to figure out a guideline to put into place as programs fight to keep their teams playing in the ever-changing landscape.
On Thursday afternoon, the NCAA released some updated guidelines for winter sports, including adjusting its definition of fully vaccinated individuals. They also updated the protocols for what should happen following a positive test.
The NCAA COVID-19 Medical Advisory Group are the ones who adjusted the definition of “fully vaccinated” individuals to where it now accounts for vaccinations, boosters, and other factors surrounding a person immunity.
Per the new definition, it now includes those who have received the vaccine within a certain timeframe. It is within two months of receiving for the Johnson & Johnson, within five months for Pfizer the vaccine series, and within six months of the Modern vaccine series. It also includes those who are past the mentioned dates but have received a booster, as well as those who fall within a 90-day documented COVID-19 infection.
For the changes to a positive test, it follows closely to the CDC updated recommendations issued in December which shorten the quarantine periods. Alongside that, the NCAA recommends five days of quarantine after a positive test if there are no symptoms or symptoms are resolving. They also suggest those who have tested positive to wear a mask for five additional days after quarantine, except during athletic activities following a negative test.
Fully vaccinated close contacts will not need to quarantine, but it is suggested to wear a mask when not participating in team activities. For those close contacts who are unvaccinated, should quarantine for five days with no involvement in the team activities.