SU, Georgia Tech football to follow strict State Health plan regarding NYS Travel Advisory

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) Syracuse University Football is scheduled to host Georgia Tech inside the newly renovated Carrier Dome at noon Saturday.

The Yellow Jackets coming from Georgia, one of many states on the New York Travel Advisory, have agreed to a set of safety protocols regarding COVID-19 with the New York State Department of Health.

State Health in a statement tells NewsChannel 9, “Georgia Tech asked for and received an exemption from the travel advisory on Wednesday with the understanding that they would strictly adhere to the ACC testing/travel protocols, which are consistent with our professional sports guidance.”

Syracuse University Director of Athletics John Wildhack provides even more detail, “Georgia Tech, they’ll fly here, they’ll be tested upon arrival, those tests will be turned around and be available back to them and to us by 5 a.m. Saturday morning. When Georgia Tech gets to the team hotel their entire travel party is quarantined until they come to the Dome for the game on Saturday.”

Georgia Tech has reduced the size of its travel party for the game, much the same way the Orange did for their trip to North Carolina earlier this month for the season opener with the Tar Heels.

North Carolina is also one of the states on the New York Travel Advisory list which requires a 14-day quarantine for anyone traveling to or returning from one of these states.

Here is the full plan Syracuse agreed to with New York State Health for its trip to play UNC:

In consultation with and at the direction of the New York State Department of Health, we have established strict protocols and policies appropriate to safeguard our student-athletes, our campus, and the Central New York Community.

We have dramatically reduced the size of the traveling party to include only student-athletes, medical staff, essential coaches, and athletics department staff. Those making the trip to North Carolina, which from start to finish will be roughly 22 hours, will remain in a strict travel bubble prior to, during, and after the trip. Specifically, the team will travel by way of chartered airplane, and upon arrival a chartered bus to the hotel where the team is staying. Student-athletes, coaches, and staff will not leave the hotel until the competition. Once the competition is over, the team will immediately depart the stadium and return to Syracuse by way of chartered airplane. 

Upon return, the team (student-athletes and staff included) will undergo immediate testing, and remain in their team bubble for the remainder of the week. They will be tested three additional times during the week (as per ACC protocol) and directed to avoid contact with individuals outside the team bubble. Our student-athletes will participate in their classes virtually for one week upon return from North Carolina, and remain in their travel bubble during this period to avoid contact with others. Our student-athletes will return to in-person instruction no earlier than the week of September 21, following the team’s road game in Pittsburgh. 

This protocol is similar to what was required by New York State for participants in the U.S. Open and the MTV Video Music Awards. We appreciate the support we have received from New York State and will continue to engage with the state’s public health experts and comply fully with their guidance.

The SU/Georgia Tech game will be broadcast on TV by Fox Sports North. Anyone from the TV crew that comes from a state on the New York Travel Advisory has been deemed an “essential worker” by State Health and is covered in ACC Conference guidance regarding COVID-19 protocols.

The travel advisory, makes exceptions for what they deem to be essential workers.

Game officials, according to the ACC Medical Plan, will undergo symptom and temperature checks when they get to the Carrier Dome.

The New York State Department of Health tells NewsChannel 9 its guidance for the SU/Georgia Tech football game is consistent with guidance used for professional sports, like the Bills, Yankees, Mets and their opponents.

In regards to future SU Football games or other fall SU sports teams’ travel plans for hosting or traveling for games New York State Health says “It will continue to communicate with Syracuse University on a case-by-case basis.”

Seven of the next eight SU Football games involve the Orange either hosting or traveling to play teams in states on the New York State Travel Advisory.


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