The NCAA has updated its COVID-19 guidelines for winter sports, changing the definition of what it means to be “fully vaccinated.” It has also updated the protocols it suggests for those who have tested positive.

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“The omicron variant has presented another surge of cases across the country,” said NCAA chief medical officer Brian Hainline, according to ESPN. “This guidance was designed to align with the latest public health directives. Given how the pandemic continues to evolve, it’s important that staff on member campuses continue to work with their local and state health officials on protocols most suitable for their locations.”

The NCAA COVID-19 Medical Advisory Group decided to change the definition of “fully vaccinated” to account for COVID-19 jabs and booster shots, as well as other immunity factors. In the eyes of the NCAA, people are now “fully vaccinated” within two months of receiving the Johnson & Johnson jab, five months of getting theΒ Pfizer shot series, or six months of receiving the Moderna jab series.

Individuals who are beyond the aforementioned timeline are considered “fully vaccinated” when they have received their booster. In addition, people who fall within 90 days of a documented COVID-19 infection fall within the NCAA’s equivalent of “fully vaccinated.”

The other major change to the NCAA’s guidelines was in the quarantine and isolation periods after a positive test. The NCAA now recommends that individuals quarantine for five days after a positive test if they showΒ no symptoms or “symptoms are resolving.” The NCAA also advises masking around others for five additional days, except when taking part in athletic activities once they have tested negative.

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This comes weeks after the CDC changed the recommended isolation period following a positive COVID-19 test from 10 days to five days.

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This comes after the schedules schedules of various sports have been negatively impacted by the surge in COVID-19 cases, with coaches and players alike being forced to miss games.

β€œLosses are still losses, and wins are still wins, but we will continue taking into consideration the absence of a coach or players, whether they are COVID-related or due to injury or suspension,” the NCAA said. β€œWe therefore encourage teams to honor conference-developed scheduling and rescheduling policies when the appropriate number of safe and healthy players and coaches are available to compete.”

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Red Voice Media would like to make a point of clarification on why we do not refer to any shot related to COVID-19 as a "vaccine." According to the CDC, the definition of a vaccine necessitates that said vaccine have a lasting effect of at least one year in preventing the contraction of the virus or disease it's intended to fight. Because all of the COVID-19 shots thus far available have barely offered six months of protection, and even then not absolute, Red Voice Media has made the decision hereafter to no longer refer to the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson substances as vaccinations.