Ahead of this week’s Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit, the PGA Tour announced that it had tweaked its health and safety protocols regarding COVID-19 for those who test positive but are asymptomatic to make a return to the course.
Previously, those who tested positive were required to self-isolate for a minimum of 10 days, in accordance with Centers for Disease Control guidelines. But as the fourth week of golf’s return moves forward, the Tour says it will instead implement the CDC’s test-based model, requiring two negative test results consecutively, a minimum of 24 hours apart, instead of a full 10-day isolation period.
“Now that the TOUR is in week four of its Return to Golf and following several asymptomatic positive tests followed by negative tests – and after direct consultation with the CDC – we are transitioning to the CDC’s test-based model, with their support,” the PGA Tour said in a statement. “Going forward, in accordance with CDC guidelines, a player or caddie who tests positive for COVID-19 but has not had any symptoms may return to competition if he returns two negative tests results, a minimum of 24 hours apart.”
The change goes into effect immediately and affects this week’s field in Detroit. As a result, Cameron Champ, who tested positive on June 23 and had three negative tests subsequently in the 72 hours that followed, has been cleared to participate in the field. He will still be required to undergo testing on-site, and he is playing as a single. Additionally, Harris English, Chad Campbell, and Korn Ferry Tour players Brandon Wu and Jonathan Hodge are eligible to compete in next week’s events if they elect to enter the testing regime and produce consecutive negative results. All four tested positive earlier this week but are asymptomatic.
“As we all learn more about how to navigate this complicated COVID-19 environment, we appreciate the continued dialogue with medical experts and with the Centers for Disease Control directly as we fine-tune our Health & Safety Plan accordingly,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said in a statement. “Today’s changes — and those announced over the past week — illustrate our commitment to preserving the health and well-being of our athletes, constituents and our impact on the communities in which we play, as well as a willingness to make medically-sound adjustments that allow our players to compete, safely. The continued success of our Return to Golf depends on that approach.”