NEW – CDC Guidelines Update & Protocol Changes
As the CDC continues to evolve the guidelines related to the management of asymptomatic and symptomatic positive cases, the PGA TOUR is closely monitoring any updates that are made. As these updates occur, accordingly the TOUR has modified its protocols to remain in line with the CDC since the return to competition. In that regard, the TOUR has announced the following protocol change which applies to all PGA TOUR events effective immediately.
Guidance for Players and Caddies Returning to Work Following a Positive Test
On July 1, the TOUR transitioned to a test-based model for asymptomatic cases allowing a player or caddie who tests positive for COVID-19 but has not had any symptoms to return to competition if he returns two negative tests results, a minimum of 24 hours apart. This test-based model has been operating smoothly for players and caddies who have no symptoms and has allowed some to return to competition quickly.
For those players and caddies who test positive and do exhibit symptoms, on July 8 the TOUR clarified its position with respect to these individuals returning to competition. Consistent with CDC guidelines at the time, these symptomatic positive individuals may return to competition after 10 days of isolation and no less than 72 hours without a fever. This guideline is underpinned by research conducted by the CDC that indicates that in no instances yet discovered has there been a case where virus is able to self-replicate beyond the 10th day following a positive test, and therefore an individual in this situation poses no harm to others. However, in the event that the individual continues to be tested (as is the case in the PGA TOUR health and safety protocol), it is very likely that the individual will continue to return a positive result.
Subsequent to these decisions, on Friday, July 17 the CDC published new guidance on individuals returning to work following a positive test which further clarifies the previous guidance. The modifications include a reduction from 72 hours to 24 hours of the period that a symptomatic positive must be fever-free in order to conclude isolation after 10 days and return to work. Furthermore, the new guidance recommends discontinuing PCR testing after the conclusion of the 10-day isolation period for a period of 3 months after the onset symptoms for the initial COVID-19 infection. For people who are asymptomatic positive, the date of first positive PCR test for COVID-19 should be used in place of the date of symptom onset
Based on these updated CDC guidelines and in consultation with the CDC and our medical advisors, we are removing the restrictions placed on those individuals who tested positive and met the criteria to return to competition. This allows those players and caddies to access facilities and be placed in the groupings according to normal protocols. Furthermore, per the CDC’s guidelines, we are also excluding these individuals from PCR testing for a period of three months from the onset of symptoms (symptomatic) or the date of the first positive test (asymptomatic). Any individual in this situation will first undergo a personal consultation with a member of the medical team to ensure that they appropriately fit the CDC requirements before being allowed to return under these conditions.
This policy change is immediate and will be in effect beginning this week for the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational/Barracuda Championship and other events across our tours.
Source: PGA tour