BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — UAB athletes return to voluntary workouts today, and they’ll have to go through safety procedures before and during practice.
UAB began testing athletes for COVID-19 Thursday, and a spokesperson says about 95 athletes have been tested. One tested positive and is self-isolating. This week, athletes will undergo cardiovascular testing, and those who pass can participate in workouts.
UAB Athletics director Mark Ingram said staff and athletes also will have masks for use during workouts. They’ll wear them in the weight room but not during outdoor practices. They’ll practice social distancing during those workouts.
“We provided two of these masks to our staff and two to all student-athletes,” Ingram said while wearing one of masks, which features the Blazers logo, during an interview with CBS 42. “These are triple-layer, cloth masks that can be washed with soap and water at night and reused the next day with relative ease.”
The safety policies are designed to help athletes and others stay safe from COVID-19 during workouts. Ingram said doctors at UAB Hospital helped administrators develop them.
“For us, we’ve been really fortunate – more than most people around the country – that we’ve got that,” he said. “It’s a real blessing for all of us. We were able to follow those guidelines and their lead, and it’s very similar to what we’ll be doing for the other students that are slowly coming back, too.”
Ingram and his staff are preparing for the possibility of having games this fall, but it remains to be seen what the future holds for those events. He says many options are still on the table, and they’re discussing all of them.
“We’re planning to play on time,” he said. “But if we ask our fans to wear masks or we space people out in the stadium, all those kind of things, like I said, are on the table to be discussed to determine the best course of action as we get closer to kickoff.”
UAB is scheduled to open football season Sept. 3 against New Mexico State.
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