The Southeastern Conference announced Friday that it will require at least two tests for COVID-19 per week and coaches must wear face coverings on the sidelines during games as part of the conference's initial coronavirus management protocols.
The face-covering requirement doesn't just apply to coaches on the sidelines, as any player who is not participating must also follow the rule in the bench area. Personnel on the sidelines are also expected to physically distance to the extent possible.
Players, coaches, and other personnel in direct contact with the football program will receive two tests weekly, usually six days and three days before competition. The conference will coordinate testing and also "recommends exploring alternative testing methods that will accommodate a third test."
"Our medical task force is producing an effective strategy for testing and monitoring," said SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, "which complements the vigilant day-to-day efforts of our campuses to establish and maintain healthy environments in which our student-athletes can train and compete."
The SEC announced its scheduling plans last week, with each program playing a 10-game slate against conference opponents. The season is set to begin Sept. 26.