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MLS Jun 15, 2020

D.C. United return to full team training

D.C. United will begin full team training at Audi Field on Monday, June 15.

The club’s return to full team training comes on the heels of Major League Soccer’s announcement of the MLS is Back Tournament, set to take place in Orlando, Florida at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports, beginning July 8.

In order to maintain a safe environment for all players and staff, D.C. United will follow a league-approved individual club plan and remain in compliance with local health and government policies and adhere to detailed health and safety protocols that were created in consultation with medical and infectious disease experts, including:

Testing:

  • Players must complete a physical examination, and all players and staff must complete two Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests 24 hours apart, 72 hours prior to the start of training, and undergo one baseline antibody (serology) test.
  • Players will be cleared to train by their medical staff only after they have successfully completed their interim physical, completed two negative PCR tests and the serology test.
  • Players, coaches and select staff must complete PCR tests every other day and only those with negative results will be allowed to attend training.
    Serology testing will be performed once every three months.
  • D.C. United’s test providers are authorized by the FDA. Turnaround time for tests must be no more than 24 hours.
  • If a player or staff member tests positive, the individual will be isolated. The isolated individual will be tested again at least 24 hours later to ensure the result was not a false positive. All close contacts will be tested immediately. Contact tracing will be performed at the direction of the club’s COVID-19 task force and local authorities.
  • A player or staff member that tests positive for COVID-19 may return to training only when cleared by the D.C. United medical team in consultation with the league medical team.
  • Any player or staff considered to be in a high-risk category for severe illness related to COVID-19 will not be permitted to participate in team training unless cleared by the D.C. United medical team.

Facilities and Equipment Use:

  • D.C. United will have the full use of the club’s training facilities.
    Entry points should remain open to avoid repeated contact with doorknobs or door exit bars.
  • The training room, gyms and fitness areas will be restricted to no more than five individuals at any time while maintaining physical distancing standards.
  • The club will use multiple dressing rooms and assign players to the same dressing room for each training session. Individual lockers should be spaced at least 10 feet apart.
  • The training room, gyms and fitness areas, as well as dressing rooms and showers must be cleaned, sanitized and disinfected following every session in accordance with MLS protocols.
  • All equipment and laundry must be cleaned and disinfected after each use and in accordance with MLS and EPA protocols.
  • D.C. United will provide individual hydration bottles to players at all times. Communal water or hydration devices are strictly prohibited.
  • Only individual, prepackaged meals and individually wrapped utensils may be provided to players and staff. Players and staff must maintain 10 feet of physical distancing while eating.

Player and Staff Safety Processes:

  • D.C. United’s individual club plan includes an Emergency Action Plan for all COVID-19 related issues.
  • Training access is restricted to essential staff only, with specific staff listed in the D.C. United club plan.
  • Completion of a Standard Screening questionnaire by each player prior to every arrival at the training site, and temperature checks upon arrival at the facility.
  • Staggered player and staff arrivals and departures, with designated parking spaces to maintain maximum distance between vehicles.
  • Player use of personal protective equipment from the parking lot to his designated position on the field or gym. Players should keep their facemask on when in the training room.
  • Staff use of the appropriate personal protective equipment at all times, including throughout training.
  • Hand washing and disinfectant stations for required use before and after sessions.