Tar Heels to begin return to campus Monday

Tar Heels to begin return to campus Monday

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UNC AD Bubba Cunningham

UNC Sports Information file photo

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has established its guidelines and processes to return students to campus. Details were published this week on a website: https://carolinatogether.unc.edu/

The process clears the way for athletics to begin coming back to campus. The Tar Heels and other teams have been shut down since the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the ACC Basketball and NCCA Tournament in March along with all remaining spring sports.

UNC Athletic director Bubba Cunningham sent out a letter to Tar Heel supporters, students and others Friday.

“Carolina Athletics will begin to phase the return of staff, coaches and student-athletes starting Monday,” Cunningham wrote. “The coordinated process will allow UNC officials to clean and sanitize its facilities, educate the student-athletes and staff about precautions and expectations, acclimate back to full workouts, and in many cases test for the COVID-19 virus.”

Here is the timeline for return:

Monday, June 1 — Facilities staff members

June 8 — Sports Medicine staff

June 12 — Coaching staffs for Football, Men’s Basketball and Women’s Basketball

June 12-July 1 — Football student-athletes, in four separate groups (June 12, 19, 26, 29)

June 15 — Strength and Conditioning, Equipment and Administration staff members

June 22 — Coaching staffs for Field Hockey, Volleyball, Men’s and Women’s Soccer and Cross Country

July 6 — Men’s and Women’s Basketball student-athletes

July 13 — Field Hockey, Volleyball, Men’s and Women’s Soccer and Cross Country student-athletes

August 3 — Coaches and student-athletes from the remainder of our teams, and remaining department staff members

Cunningham said all student-athletes from Football, Men’s and Women’s Basketball, Field Hockey, Volleyball, Men’s and Women’s Soccer and Cross Country, as well as members of those sports staffs, will be tested for COVID-19 at least twice — once when they arrive, and again 7-8 days later.

“As part of our safety precautions, team members will be housed together, and will be instructed to follow strict guidelines for social distancing and standards in and outside of our facilities. We will continue to evaluate testing and safety protocols for the Winter and Spring teams scheduled to return at the same time as the student body,” Cunningham said.

UNC plans to review individual plans for each of our facilities, units and 28 sports teams.

“Our spaces are unique, and needs and timelines for our student-athletes and staff vary across competition seasons. Face masks, cleaning products and hand sanitizers will be available across all of our facilities, and we will require everyone to conduct a daily self-health review before coming to work,” Cunningham said.

He urged all involved with the return to read and remember our community standards for wearing face masks, physical distancing, hygiene and cleaning practices. Additional cleaning and sanitizing protocols will be in place, and it is everyone’s responsibility to contribute to a healthy and safe atmosphere.

“It has been outstanding to watch the way our student-athletes, coaches, staff and community have joined together, even from afar, to teach, learn, mentor and support each other during this time. Let’s continue to help each other stay safe,” Cunningham said.

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