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The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) late last week released an update to its COVID-19 guidance in the wake of winter sports, adjusting its definition of “fully vaccinated” individuals to consider natural immunity following infection.
“For purposes of the winter guidelines, the NCAA COVID-19 Medical Advisory Group has developed a definition of ‘fully vaccinated’ that considers both vaccination status and other immunity factors that may impact risks for Tier 1 individuals, including student-athletes and coaches,” the new guidance reads on its official website.
Fully vaccinated and with natural immunity
According to the new NCAA guidelines, a person who has had a “documented COVID-19 infection” within the past three months (90 days) will be considered “fully vaccinated.”
Those who are fully vaccinated with one of the FDA-approved formulations or have had a recent infection do not need to be quarantined but must wear a facemask for ten days, except when participating in athletic activities.
All NCAA guidelines extend to close contacts of athletes, coaches, students, and other staff members.
“The Omicron variant has presented another surge of cases across the country,” said NCAA chief medical officer Brian Hainline. “This guidance was designed to align with the latest public health directives. Given how the pandemic continues to evolve, it’s important that staff on member campuses continue to work with their local and state health officials on protocols most suitable for their locations.”