As the NCAA continues to allow universities to move forward with voluntary workouts, UTEP will permit its student-athletes to return to campus in phases beginning on June 15, as announced by Director of Athletics Jim Senter on Thursday.

“It is important for us to bring student-athletes back to campus in a thoughtful and deliberate fashion, one that ensures we are following best practices and meeting CDC guidelines for the sake of everyone’s health and safety,” Senter said in a release. “We know that until a vaccine is developed, we will have to live with the virus and must learn to mitigate the risk of catching it. Bringing Miner student-athletes back to campus is a huge step toward achieving some sense of normalcy.”

Football will make up the first bunch of athletes returning for voluntary workouts during the week of June 15, with an approximate number of 45 players. The numbers for the football team will increase throughout the summer during June and July, per the athletic department.

Starting the week of June 22, a limited number of cross country, soccer and volleyball players will be allowed to return for voluntary workouts. Following that, men's and women's basketball and track and field will be allowed back during the week of June 29. All other sports will be eligible to come back to campus starting the week of July 6.

The university will require all student-athletes to complete an online questionnaire prior to returning that will ask if they have experienced any COVID-19 symptoms over the last three months. A mandatory physical will be required of all athletes before starting voluntary workouts as well. Daily temperature and health screening will be expected for student-athletes prior to entering the facilities.

All the players will be divided into groups to ensure social distancing measures, while each student-athlete will be expected to wear a face mask inside the facilities.

Should a player want access to the training room and coaches' offices, they will need to do so by appointment only. Locker room access will be restricted to small groups.

All players must bring their own water bottles. Strength and conditioning voluntary workouts will limit sharing any sort of equipment, while all the machines will be sanitized following the workouts.

Equipment managers will be asked to wash face masks daily after the voluntary workouts. Every student-athlete will get two face masks—one for the day's workout and the other for the next day's workout, per the athletic department.

The athletic department assures cleanliness and sanitation of the facilities after each day.

If a student-athlete experiences symptoms of COVID-19, they will be required to refrain from entering athletic facilities and contact Sports Medicine personnel immediately for testing. Per UTEP, all student-athletes or staff who test positive for COVID-19—along with those they have come into immediate contact with—will be subject to mandatory quarantine based on CDC guidelines.

Per the college rules, they are allowing only strength and conditioning coaches and Sports Medicine personnel (athletic trainers) in the facilities to conduct the voluntary workouts. Coaches and staff are not allowed in the voluntary workouts.

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