Blue Knights Athletics COVID Preparedness Plan
Dakota County Technical College (DCTC) and the Blue Knights Athletic Program are committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for our student athletes, employees, and community members. To ensure this, we developed this Back-to-Play Preparedness Plan following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), federal COVID-19 OSHA standards, and Governor Tim Walz’s executive orders, including Executive Order 20-40, Allowing Workers in Certain Non-Critical Sectors to Return to Safe Workplaces. DCTC will continue to use distance learning and support services where we can. Our goal is to continue our educational mission while mitigating the potential for transmission of COVID-19 on our campus.
Campus leaders, supervisors, employees, and students are responsible for implementing and complying with all aspects of this Plan. Dakota County Technical College leaders and supervisors have our full support in enforcing the provisions of this policy.
We are serious about safety and health and keeping our student athletes and employees safe. Your involvement is essential in developing and implementing a successful Campus COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. Our Preparedness Plan follows CDC and MDH guidelines and federal OSHA standards related to COVID-19 and addresses:
- Safety and Compliance Responsibilities;
- Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette;
- Social Distancing;
- Housekeeping-cleaning, disinfecting and decontamination;
- Prompt identification and isolation of sick persons;
- Communication and training; and
- Management and supervision necessary to ensure effective implementation of plan.
Student athletes, staff, and coaches must provide information regarding their medical condition as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is our expectation that student athletes, staff, and coaches not put themselves in situations where there is crowding or lack of social distancing.
- When getting together in a social setting, whether indoors or outdoors:
- Keep group sizes small (10 or fewer people) – the smaller the better.
- Ensure at least 6-foot social distancing between you and your friends.
- Limit the number of people in small or common spaces.
- Avoid crowded bars and restaurants or other gathering spots.
- If you do go to a bar or restaurant:
- Don’t stay if tables aren’t spread out. Clustering/crowding spreads COVID-19 fast.
- Sit outside. We see less transmission of COVID-19 when people are outside.
- Sit at a table with space between you and others rather than stand at a bar. It is too easy to get close to each other when you are standing.
- When sitting with your friends, try to give yourself as much space as possible.
- Wear a face covering when you are not eating or drinking.
All student athletes and staff must comply with the following:
- Complete a self-screen each morning via COVID-19 Self Assessment. If athletic activity is taking place at Inver Hills Community College Campus. For all other athletic activity complete the Dakota County Technical College self-assessment.
- Athlete will be expected to communicate to coach/staff if they answer yes to any of the questions or feel sick.
- If symptomatic, report symptoms daily via athletic training documentation software (Presagia).
- Wear face masks during all team activities.
- Test for COVID-19 virus, if necessary.
- Quarantine and/or self-isolate if necessary.
- If there is a confirmed positive, team activity will cease until contact tracing and quarantine can be done.
- If 20% of a team tests positive, the team will cease activity.
Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette
Employees and visitors are being instructed to cover their mouth and nose with their sleeve or a tissue when coughing or sneezing and to avoid touching their face, in particular their mouth, nose and eyes, with their hands. They should dispose of tissues in the trash and wash or sanitize their hands immediately afterward. Respiratory etiquette will be demonstrated on posters and supported by making tissues and trash receptacles available on campus and in athletic facilities.
Masks or cloth face coverings can be worn to help control infection from people who may be infected but are asymptomatic (without symptoms). They may provide some limited protection from being infected if exposed.
- Players will be required to wear a mask during ALL team activities, including in-person meetings, practice and competition.
- Each coach, athlete, and staff member will be provided a mask for use. Neck Gaiters are not allowed.
- The DCTC Athletic Training room will have a limited number of face masks available to athletes/staff who do not have access to their own mask.
- Wearing a mask or cloth face coverings does not protect you from others who may spread the virus. So, whether or not you wear a mask or cloth face coverings, you still need to wash your hands frequently, cover your cough, and practice social distancing by keeping at least 6 feet of space between people.
- Basic infection prevention measures are being implemented at our campus at all times.
- Students and staff are being instructed to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water frequently throughout the day, but especially at the beginning and end of their time on campus, prior to any mealtimes and after using the restroom.
- Hand sanitizer is available throughout campus for anyone wishing to use it. (Sanitizers must be of greater than 60% alcohol).
- Personal equipment should not be shared between student-athletes. This includes, water bottles, towels, masks, etc.
- Each student-athlete will be provided with a water bottle for their personal use.
- Use of drinking fountains are NOT permitted.
Social Distancing is being implemented on campus through the following engineering and administrative controls:
- Whenever possible, student athletes/staff must maintain a social distance of at least 6 feet.
- Staff and athletes are prohibited from gathering in groups or confined areas and from sharing equipment.
- Team meetings, advising, and/or other services must be done virtually whenever possible.
- Athletic Training: See Appendix C for specific athletic training room guidelines.
Housekeeping- cleaning, disinfecting and decontamination
Regular housekeeping practices are being implemented, including routine cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces, equipment, and areas in the campus environment, including classrooms, labs, restrooms, athletic facilities, common areas. Frequent cleaning and disinfecting will be conducted in high-touch areas, such as door handles, railings, touch screens, shared equipment.
Screening and policies for those exhibiting signs and symptoms of COVID-19
Prior to all team activity a COVID-19 Self-Assessment will be completed by each student athlete, staff, and coach. This must be completed prior to building entry and monitored by athletic staff and coaches. If athletic activity is taking place at Inver Hills Community College Campus: https://minnstate.edu/CV19-IHCC . For all other athletic activity (located on Dakota County Technical College’s website): https://mnscu.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_aXaJvu52XQIQ5qR. In addition to this assessment student athletes are expected to report signs and symptoms to athletic staff (coach, athletic trainer, and/or athletic administrator). Blue Knights athletic staff will reiterate protocol and expectation in each situation.
- Report any symptoms immediately to coach.
- Coach obtains questionnaire from student athlete.
- Coach consults with athletic staff on recommendations and communicates plan of action with student athlete.
- Fill out COVID symptom screen on athletic training documentation software (Presagia).
- This will be required each day while experiencing symptoms, in isolation or quarantine.
Refer to Appendix B for testing decision tree.
If an athlete is confirmed positive for COVID-19:
- They must Isolate for 10 days.
- Athlete is to communicate with coach/staff on needs/resources.
- Coaching staff will report positive cases to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- One of the following conditions must be met prior to returning to participation:
- Completion of 10 days of isolation.
- 1 consecutive day without a fever before returning to participation (without fever reducing medicine).
- Follow Return to Play Protocol (Appendix B).
- Must be cleared by a physician or athletic training staff.
- Student athletes must have their own health insurance, access for COVID tests are encouraged through their health care provider or an alternative provider if needed.
- Anyone that fits “close contact” criteria (within 6 ft for total of 15 minutes in a 24- hour period) must assume a positive exposure.
- These individuals must be quarantined immediately.
- Administered a COVID-19 test after 5-7 days of possible exposure and remain quarantined until results are returned.
- If a positive test is returned, individual will begin confirmed positive guidelines (above).
- A suspected positive COVID-19 athlete will follow same guidelines as a “close contact” individual.
- Any athlete that fails DCTC’s COVID-19 screen will be required to have a COVID-19 test until another diagnosis is reached or a negative test result is documented.
Communication and Training
This plan was communicated via email on January 8th, 2021. This plan was also posted on the Blue Knights Athletics website. It has also been posted on the DCTC COVID website and also on the Inver Hills Community College COVID website.
Necessary training was also provided. Additional communication and training will be ongoing providing email/text updates and provided to all staff and student athletes who did not receive the initial training. Blue Knights Athletic staff are to monitor how effective the program has been implemented by regular feedback from staff and students.
- Temperature checks and health screening/questionnaire for all student athletes, coaches, game personnel prior to competition.
- Visiting team must do temperature checks before departing from home location.
- Limited contact between teams when possible, no pregame or post game handshake.
- No fans for indoor competition, livestream available.
- Limited fans for outdoor competition:
- bleachers closed;
- social distancing required; and
- mask wearing required at all times.
- Approval from DCTC Administration or Vendor facility required.
- Travel approval and rental (i.e., IHCC) approval as needed.
- All student athletes, coaches, and game personnel must follow facility guidelines related to COVID
- Temperature checks and health screening/questionnaire for all student athletes, coaches, game personnel prior to departing.
- All student athletes and staff must follow COVID protocol for busing company.
- All travel including overnight stays approved through Campus President, Michael Berndt.
- Masks required at all times.
- Teams will be provided with cleaning supplies for travel including: disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, gloves.
- All student-athletes must show proof of completion and negative DCTC COVID screen prior to entering the ATR.
- Sign in via Daily Treatment Log.
Social Distancing / Masks
- Face Masks required.
- A maximum of 3 athletes will be allowed in DCTC ATR.
- A maximum of 2 athletes will be allowed in Inver Hills ATR.
- Athletes will be allowed in the ATR by appointment only.
- Length of appointments can vary based on need.
- Athletes can contact AT’s to aid in scheduling.
- Urgent cases will be allowed if maximum # of athletes have been reached.
- If athletes only need ice/tape etc., they do not need an appointment, but they will need to wait out in the lobby if maximum # of athletes have been reached.
- Athletes in ATR will not be allowed to touch supplies / ice machines/ equipment unless specifically directed.
- Athletes must maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from all other athletes.
- Staff and athlete being treated will need to be closer than 6 feet at times, this time should be kept as short as possible. A medical grade mask may be given in these instances.
Regular housekeeping practices are being implemented, including routine cleaning and disinfecting of work surfaces, equipment. Frequent cleaning and disinfecting will be conducted in high-touch areas, such as touch screens, controls, door handles.
- Athletes and staff must use hand sanitizer before entering the ATR.
- Athletes will use approved disinfecting wipes to clean all rehab equipment after use.
- Staff must use hand sanitizer or wash hands before and after each athlete contact.
- Staff must clean/sanitize, with approved disinfectant, each table/pillow and instrument after each athlete is done with them per recommendations on bottle.
- Staff must re-clean all tables/pillows and surfaces used during that day, with approved disinfectant, before leaving for the day per recommendations on the bottle.