NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Health Protocols Include 7 Negative COVID-19 Tests, Contact Tracing Devices


The NCAA on Wednesday announced its health and safety protocols for the 2020 men’s basketball tournament, which is scheduled to take place entirely in and around Indianapolis in March and April.

The most important protocol concerns testing. All participants in the Level 1 travel group – which includes student-athletes, coaches, coaches, physiotherapists, medical staff and equipment and officials – will be required to present seven consecutive negative COVID-19 tests prior to ‘arrive in Indianapolis. Level 1 individuals will then undergo daily PCR testing upon arrival and throughout the tournament.

Level 1 people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days, are at least two weeks after infection and are asymptomatic will not be required to have daily tests, nor will people who are at least two weeks withdrawn from the vaccine against covid19.

All Level 1 participants will also be required to wear KINEXON movement devices during the tournament, including during practices and matches, to aid in contact tracing and quarantine.

The protocols were decided by the NCAA in conjunction with the Marion County Public Health Department.

“We are emphasizing the safety and well-being of all who participate in the event,” NCAA Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brian Hainline said in a statement. “By working with local health officials to develop protocols and administer COVID-19 tests, we are confident that we will provide a safe environment for student-athletes, coaches, administrators and officials.”

The NCAA will announce its final entry policy after Feb. 1, but said Wednesday that up to six family members per Level 1 participant would be allowed at each venue per game, capping the number of participants at 420.

All teams will stay at hotels in Marion County. The NCAA announced earlier this week that four Marriott properties connected to the Indiana Convention Center will house the teams.

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