| 6-18-2020 02:17 PM PT
Photo by Stanford Sports Performance
In a press release today, Stanford Athletics announced that select student athletes will be permitted to return to campus for "voluntary individual activities", an ostensible sign that summer training and summer workouts will soon be underway. The decision to allow students back on campus for the first time in any capacity since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic represents a major step towards reestablishing normalcy on The Farm.
The announcement, does, however, come with some caveats.
For one, those who wish to return to campus will have to jump through a few hoops to verify their health. As somewhat of a given, Stanford stipulates that returning students must have had no contact with any individual known to have contracted COVID-19 in the past 7-14 days. The university also intends to enforce daily digital screenings in addition to an in-person check up prior to stepping foot on the athletics campus. These conditions were set in compliance with the guidelines outlined by a variety of relevant bodies: Stanford Hospitals and Clinics, Santa Clara County Public Health, the Pac-12 COVID-19 Medical Advisory Committee, and the NCAA.
For another, dining halls and residences will remain closed, meaning that returning athletes will have to fend for themselves to survive. While there will likely be alumni or donors nearby willing to house them, the lack of institutional support on food and housing represents a major hurdle to returning. Some athletes may be better off staying at home where food and nutrition may be more of a guarantee.
Finally, the returning students will be largely confined to outdoor facilities (the exception being swimmers and divers), with indoor facilities being accessed by appointment only. Regardless of where the workout takes place, Stanford is also encouraging some common sense best practices: face coverings, generous use of hand sanitizer, the wiping down of equipment after use, and maintaining distance.
While we don't yet know the fate of fall sports, it's encouraging to see movement on the university's side to allow training alongside coaches and staff to take place, however limited. Still, more concrete indices of university commitment to playing some version of football this fall are yet to be seen. We here at Channel Tree will be keeping our ears to the ground and eyes on the screen, waiting to bring you the latest.
--Fear The Me.
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