The Notre Dame football team will live in a hotel all summer in order to stay as safe as possible while preparing for the 2020 season amid the coronavirus pandemic.
According to multiple outlets, players will begin moving into The Morris Inn, an on-campus hotel, on Monday. Each player will be tested for COVID-19 upon their arrival. The Irish are scheduled to begin voluntary workouts on June 22.
According to ESPN, about 90 Notre Dame players will begin moving into single-occupancy rooms over the next week. The players will live and dine there until fall semester begins Aug. 10, two weeks earlier than originally planned. This plan is for football players only.
The players will quarantine on a case-by-case basis upon arrival back in South Bend. And when all have been tested, including staff, the program will move into the first phase of a three-phase plan.
The first phase will mainly consist of strength and conditioning before moving into more coordinated team football activities. From the South Bend Tribune:
The phases of bringing the team together are as follows:
Phase 1: Group sizes of no more than 10 people; limited building occupancy.
Phase 2: Group sizes of no more than 50 people; limited building occupancy.
Phase 3: Group size unlimited.
Players’ temperatures will be taken daily. Players also must log any potential symptoms on a daily basis. Masks will be provided and mandatory for indoor activities. They will be recommended for outdoor workouts, too.
With multiple football teams across the country already experiencing positive tests upon their returns to campus, Dr. Matt Leizler, Notre Dame’s team physician, said positive tests are expected and that a plan for those occurrences is in place. The key will be avoiding “clusters of outbreaks.”
"We're going to have positives. That's to be expected. That being said, we need to do a really good job of controlling those,” Leizler said via ESPN. “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."
Notre Dame is scheduled to open its season against Navy. That game was originally scheduled to be played in Dublin, Ireland. However, because of the pandemic, the schools decided to play the game at Navy’s home stadium in Annapolis, Maryland.
The game was set to be played in “Week 0” on Aug. 29, the weekend before Labor Day. It will now be moved to either the Saturday or Sunday of Labor Day weekend in Week 1. It will be televised by either ESPN or ABC.
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