The Department of Athletics is committed to the health and safety of all student-athletes,coaches, and staff as we return to campus. As part of this commitment, Salem Athletics will provide a positive student athlete experience while meeting federal, state, NCAA, and National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) guidelines related to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have worked diligently to plan and prepare for the anticipated arrival of all our student-athletes to coincide with the return of all our students.
The USA South Athletic Conference, in collaboration with the Directors of Athletics from all member institutions, has been dedicated to developing plans for a return to training and intercollegiate competition. As a USA South member school, Salem is committed to implementing a high standard of safety protocols and ongoing review of health data relative to student-athlete safety.
Student-Athlete Return and Screening
All student athletes will return to campus in a manner that is part of the regular student population return. Please see Move-In and Orientation for details on this process. Students will be assigned a designated time to return to campus for the move-in and health screening process.
Regular Health Screenings
Due to the close contact required for training and competition, use of the daily health screening applicable will be adopted for athletes who are exempt from COVID-19 vaccination with oversight by Salem and Novant Health sports medicine staff. Additional screening measures for all athletes may include questionnaires, temperature checks, and testing consistent with NCAA, NATA, and public health best practices and guidelines. Further details on varsity athletics participation and safety measures, including health screening requirements, will be released in the coming weeks.
Commitment to Health and Safety
In all athletic facilities and shared spaces, Salem is committed to enhanced cleaning practices. This will involve a commitment from all student-athletes, coaches, and staff using the spaces before and after workouts and wiping down areas before and after use. In addition, cleaning will be undertaken by Athletics and Physical Plant staff at regular intervals. Hand sanitizer, antiviral sprays, and wipes will be provided and utilized as required.
In student-athlete support areas to include locker rooms, the weight room, and the athletic training room, capacities will be reduced and staggered schedules will be created to promote physical distancing as needed. A sign-up process will be implemented to facilitate scheduled appointments and workout times and to meet any special capacity limits.
In the return and resocialization of sports, guidance from the NCAA Sports Science Institute, the National Athletic Trainers Association, the Intercollegiate Council for Sports Medicine and other sport specific governing bodies have been used to develop sport-specific strategies to mitigate risk pertaining to acclimatization, practices, balls or playing apparatuses, equipment, sanitization, travel, distancing, sport-specific venues, and activities.
In providing the safest playing environment, fan attendance will be limited on a sport by sport basis as needed and fans will be required to follow Salem’s guidelines for Use of Face Coverings, Physical Distancing, and Healthy Hygiene. Salem College Athletics will provide coverage on social media, and broadcast/livestream all home games at no-cost when possible. Fans can stay updated by following salemspirits.com.
Visiting teams, travel parties, and game officials including coaches and staff will be required to complete health screenings prior to participation on Salem’s campus. Visiting teams’ sports medicine staff will be responsible for oversight of any medical screening and care pursuant to standards set by Salem’s Athletics COVID-19 Task Force in collaboration with the USA South game day guidelines.
SPORT SPECIFIC EVENT GUIDELINES
Salem Varsity Tennis Courts and Soccer and Softball Fields are outdoor athletics venues. Games will be open for fan attendance, and those in attendance will be encouraged to bring their own chairs to promote physical distancing and use of face coverings may be enforced.
North Carolina guidelines and executive orders will control capacity guidelines for use of indoor sporting venues. All home Basketball, Swim, and Volleyball competitions will be livestreamed. Athletics will enforce the use of face coverings and physical distancing of attendees.