Health & Safety FAQs

GENERAL

 

A: The NAIA believes it is critical for each NAIA member to communicate to opponents about the known presence of COVID-19 within the campus community, while complying with FERPA, HIPAA and other medical privacy guidelines. This current information will allow each institution to appropriately assess the risk of competition and determine whether to proceed with scheduled contests. The NAIA will continue to work with the NAIA Athletic Trainers Association (ATA) and other experts to provide additional guidance in this area.

A: The NAIA does not have any requirements for equipment or facility sanitization. The NAIA recommends each institution carefully review the best practice resources provided in Section VII of the NAIA’s Fall 2020 Guidelines & Recommendations to evaluate the best options for its campus. The NAIA recognizes the importance of sanitization and risk mitigation in preventing the spread of COVID-19, but also recognizes each facility and campus is unique and needs flexibility to identify its best options.

 

SCREENING

 

A: Screening on practice or team activity days can be conducted by a healthcare professional but is not required to be. Athletic department or campus staff would also be permitted to conduct the screening. The NAIA would encourage institutions to proactively designate which individuals on campus will be selected to conduct screening, and train these individuals in advance on how to conduct the screening and what signs or symptoms to look for.

A: It is intended that this language would incorporate any personnel who are engaging with a team on a practice or team activity day, including but not limited to athletic trainers, team managers, SIDs, strength and conditioning or nutrition coaches, etc. This open-ended language was used to recognize that what happens on one campus or with one team will likely differ from another, and allow for flexibility. If an athletic trainer is working with student-athletes before practice several days a week, the athletic trainer would need to be screened each day. A sports information director who only interacts with student-athletes once per week to conduct interviews or take pictures would only need to be screened on those days. This screening requirement is intended to apply to individuals connected with athletics, and is not intended to include general faculty or the rest of the student body.

A: Screening is required each day there is any sort of team activity or gathering, including team meetings, film review, conditioning or weight lifting sessions, practices or competitions. Beginning with the first day of the 2020-21 school year that a particular team meets and is screened, verification is required on that day and every day after. (On days off, verification must be submitted and “No Team Activity” can be selected, as described in the Verification FAQs.)

A: The Athletic Trainers Association (ATA) recognized the COP’s intention in holding game-day screening to a higher standard with some assurances of proper medical training to clear individuals prior to competition. However, the ATA was concerned about lack of capacity for athletics trainers and healthcare professionals, and so recommended that other individuals on campus could be appropriately trained to serve in this role.
 
The COP Executive Committee agreed with this perspective, and amended the requirement to allow any university or professional staff/contractors to serve in this role. Undergraduate students are not permitted to serve in this role, nor are coaches from the team to be screened (though a coach could complete the training and conduct screening for another sport on campus). A healthcare professional must also be on-call for any referrals resulting from game-day screening.
 
The ATA is creating the training. When available, the training will be an online module hosted on The NAIA Learning Center. It will likely take 2-3 hours to complete and will provide education on the signs and symptoms of COVID-19, proper use and disposal or personal protective equipment, institutional/conference/NAIA guidelines regarding screening including quarantine measures and referral process, the use of infrared and oral thermometers, and basic information on the progression, transmission and susceptibility of COVID-19.

A: A healthcare professional includes but is not limited to an athletic trainer, team physician, campus doctor/nurse, etc. This definition has intentionally been left somewhat open-ended in recognition of campuses having a variety of athletic healthcare models and resources available to them. The intention is that the screening guidelines create consistent parameters that all schools will operate within, but that a healthcare professional has the ability to apply clinical judgment in evaluating specific symptoms.
 
As a reminder, screening is only required to be conducted by a healthcare professional or appropriately trained individual on game day. Screening before practice or team activities can be conducted by another institutional representative, such as an athletic administrator or assistant coach.

A: As described above, both healthcare professionals and non-healthcare professionals can now conduct game-day screening. In conjunction with this change, the Athletics Trainers Association also recommended modifications to the screening scoring chart, which the Council of Presidents Executive Committee approved. Now, two versions of the form will be utilized:

  1. Non-healthcare professionals will use a version of the scoring rubric that simply asks for Yes/No answers to each of the symptoms and questions. Any “Yes” answer will result in a referral to a healthcare professional for a final decision regarding if the individual should participate.
  2. Healthcare professionals will use a version of the form that assigns scores to each symptom or question (in other words, weighted symptoms), similar to what has been shared since July 1. This scoring rubric has also been amended to use a score of 3 as the standard for withholding a participant, as opposed to a score of 2 as originally described. Healthcare professionals will use this version whether conducting the entire screen themselves, or if the individual is referred to them following an initial screen by someone else.

Please see Section III of the NAIA’s Fall 2020 Guidelines & Recommendations, which are being updated to reflect this most recent change. Please note that screening protocols will continue to be updated as new research and data become available.


A: This term has been left somewhat open-ended, recognizing that each sport and the personnel involved to host a competition is different. Most certainly, it includes student-athletes, coaches, team managers, officials, and game management administrators. It may also include volunteers, ball boys, marching band or spirit squads, SIDs, scorers, athletic trainers and others, if those individuals are involved in administering or hosting the competition.

A: The primary requirement is that screening must be conducted within six hours of the competition by a healthcare professional or appropriately trained individual. A visiting team could be screened prior to traveling to the contest if it fits within that time frame. If not, then screening will either need to be done by a healthcare professional or appropriately trained individual that travel with your team, or healthcare professional or appropriately trained individual provided by the home institution upon arrival. Pursuant with the “Notice of Safety Preparations” requirement, the NAIA will indicate information to be shared with opponents in advance of each contest, including whether you will need the home school’s help with screening.

A: The NAIA is finalizing an online submission to verify screening has been done. This will be submitted by the individual who performs the screening for a given team, and asks the individual to verify that the proper screening procedures were followed and how many individuals were withheld. This submission does not capture any information about particular students or coaches. It is a simple process that will take no more than 1-2 minutes.

A: If a coach reports symptoms or a temperature, or otherwise is flagged with a score of 2 or higher in the screening process, the coach is required to completely withdraw from the competition and warm-ups. The coach should not take part in any activities and should remove themselves from interacting with others, including but not limited to student-athletes, coaches and game-day participants.

A: Any sport taking place is required to follow the screening requirements (and testing in advance of initial contest). While recognizing that an athletic trainer is normally on call rather than on site, this year’s screening protocols will require that a healthcare professional or appropriately trained individual screen student-athletes and other participants on game day prior to competition. For the second day of a tournament, if teams have not arranged for their own healthcare professional or appropriately trained individual to be available, the host institution will be required to screen those participants. In the coming weeks, more information will be provided on the third requirement (“Notice to Opponents of Safety Preparations”), and part of the intent is to ensure there’s advance communication among participating schools for this type of scenario.

 

SCREENING VERIFICATION FORM

 

A: The NAIA has just finalized an online submission to verify screening has been done. This should be submitted by the individual who performs the screening for a given team, and asks the individual to verify that the proper screening procedures were followed and how many individuals were withheld. This submission does not capture any information about particular students or coaches. It is a simple process that will take no more than 1-2 minutes per submission.

A: Yes, for any sports that are engaging in athletic activities (includes team meetings, conditioning or weight lifting sessions, practices or games). For example, if your softball team is conducting some practices and scrimmages in the fall, you would need to complete the screening and verification on a daily basis beginning with the first day of your fall activities. On the other hand, if your wrestling team does not intend to participate in any team activities or practices until October, then you would not need to begin the screening or verification process until October.
 
Screening and verification are required at any point that athletic activities are occurring, even if it is during the team’s “off season”.

A:  You will need to submit the verification form every day, beginning with the date of the team’s first athletic activity (including team meeting, conditioning or weight lifting session, or practice). That means that a submission is required even on a team’s day off (it is a modified submission). The reason for this is that it allows for comprehensive tracking that will indicate if the required screening is being done each day.
 
You will see that there is a field on the form that provides for “Type of Report” with options for “Daily”, “Game day” or “No Team Activity Today”. This field provides an option for a team to submit data each and every day, and ensure that tracking and monitoring can be consistent and comprehensive.

A:  You only need to submit the verification form once per day per team. If you screen your football team in the morning before morning practice and submit the verification form then, you are not required to do it again before afternoon meetings.

A:  The person who submits the verification form is asked to enter their email address into the form. A confirmation email will be automatically sent to the email address listed.

A: NAIA Screening Results online report - https://screening.naia.org/naia-covid-screening-report/ NOTE: This report is password protected to allow only NAIA institutions access. The password is “naiacovid19,” all lower case. Results on this page are updated every 30 minutes


A: The colors are a way to indicate a team’s submission status:
  • Grey: Indicates that there have not been any submissions for the team.
  • Green: Indicates the team has provided a submission continuously each day.
  • Yellow: Indicates the particular team has missed between 1-10% of reporting days since the team did its first submission.
  • Red: Indicates the particular team has missed more than 10% of the reporting days since the team did its first submission.

  

TESTING

 

A: Originally, the Council of Presidents was requiring a negative PCR test for all NAIA student-athletes and coaches prior to competition. When the COP determined fall championships will be delayed until the spring, allowing for much more flexibility in schedule, the COP also determined the original testing mandate should no longer apply. The COP opted to provide more flexibility considering the types of viral testing, their availability and cost, the turn-around times involved, and the local or regional public stances regarding testing vary greatly across the county. Given this variability and complexity, the NAIA determined it was inappropriate to require a single testing protocol for all its members. Rather, the NAIA strongly recommends that individual conferences and institutions consider very carefully the best way to deploy COVID testing to support the safe return to athletics.

A: The NAIA believes it is critical for each NAIA member to communicate to opponents about the known presence of COVID-19 within the campus community, while complying with FERPA, HIPAA and other medical privacy guidelines. This current information will allow each institution to appropriately assess the risk of competition and determine whether to proceed with scheduled contests. The NAIA will continue to work with the NAIA Athletic Trainers Association (ATA) and other experts to provide additional guidance in this area.

A: Mandatory reporting regulations require that any entity or lab conducting testing is required to alert local public health when a sample is positive for COVID-19. Each state has its own regulations, but generally require public health must be notified within a period of hours after a positive sample is discovered. The institution will receive notification of the positive test, and it is strongly encouraged that the institution also notify public health in order to ensure appropriate isolation and contact tracing can be enacted swiftly.