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Miami guard Charlie Moore (3) knocks the ball away from Syracuse center Jesse Edwards at an NCAA basketball game on Wednesday. Photo: Samuel Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The National Collegiate Athletic Association updated its COVID-19 guidelines for the winter athletic season, revising the definition of "fully vaccinated" and outlining new testing and quarantine requirements, the organization announced Thursday.

Driving the news: The changes reflect new guidelines released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week.

  • The latest CDC guidelines have been subject to criticism, including from public health experts, according to AP.

Details: The latest NCAA guidelines now say those who test positive, regardless of vaccination status, have to quarantine for just five days unless symptoms persist.

  • Masking is required after quarantine for five more days. Athletes may participate in athletic activities without a mask during this period if they receive a negative test.
  • Testing and quarantine rules are still more stringent for unvaccinated athletes, who are required to test regularly.

Context: The NCAA defined fully vaccinated as having received a booster shot or completed the initial protocol of a vaccine within a certain time period, per the press release.

  • People who have been infected within the last 90 days will be treated as if fully vaccinated.

What they're saying: "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," NCAA chief medical officer Brian Hainline said.

Go deeper

Jan 15, 2022 - Health

Concerns grow over CDC's isolation guidelines

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

New data suggests that people with the Omicron variant frequently stay infectious for longer than five days, raising concerns about the CDC's updated isolation guidelines.

Why it matters: Experts say the issue could be resolved by using rapid tests to determine whether it is safe to exit isolation, but the CDC has not recommended a negative test as a condition to end isolation.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker

Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers

President Biden speaking from Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Jan. 21. Photo: Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal judge in Texas blocked the Biden administration from enforcing its coronavirus vaccine mandate for federal workers on Friday, citing the outcome of last week's Supreme Court ruling that nullified the administration's vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers.

Why it matters: It's a blow to President Biden's efforts to increase the U.S.' vaccination rates, though much of the federal workforce has already been vaccinated against the virus.