The Notre Dame football team will move into a hotel on their Indiana campus and be quarantined for up to a week before they start workouts as part of their plan to prepare for the 2020 season.
Athletic department officials informed ESPN and the Indianapolis Star of the plans Thursday. Football players will begin move-ins Monday at The Morris Inn. They will stay in single-occupancy rooms and have meals in the rooms until they move into their school residences for the fall semester.
Notre Dame football will start voluntary workouts June 22. Players and staff will be quarantined and tested for the coronavirus before they move into the first phase of a plan to play. The first phase includes voluntary participation in workouts for up to 10 group members.
“I think we’ve come up with a really good plan,” Notre Dame team physician Dr. Matt Leizler said. “That being said, there’s an element of this that’s kind of like building an airplane as you fly it, in that we’re learning so much more every week. Which in some ways is fantastic — we’re learning more about this virus and we can use it to help us keep our players and our staff safe — but it’s a moving target at times.”
Players and staff will participate in vehicle drive-up style nasal swab tests during the week of June 15. Results from the tests will be available in 48 hours. Players will have daily temperature checks and fill out symptom surveys before they enter team facilities.
The second phase of Notre Dame’s plan includes group sizes of up to 50 people. The third stage includes an unlimited amount of participants in football-related activities.
“We’re going to have positive [tests]. That’s to be expected. … That being said, we need to do a really good job of controlling those,” Leizler said. “The things that play into that are a really robust contact tracing system to ensure if we have a positive or someone we think may have COVID, we’re going to move really quickly in coordination with the university to limit those other close contacts so we don’t end up with a cluster.”
Players or staff members who test positive will be sent home to self-isolate and be scheduled for an appointment with the sports medicine department. They will also be referred to on-campus testing locations.
Notre Dame class instruction was moved to online in mid-March. Summer school will also take place online. In-person classes are scheduled to start Aug. 10. Fighting Irish football players were last together March 9. Other spring practice sessions were canceled due to the pandemic.