STORRS, Conn. (AP) — Members of UConn’s men’s basketball team returned to campus Friday as the school begins preparing to reopen after shutting down because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The school said football players will return to Storrs on July 1. The women's basketball team, which had been approved to return, has chosen to come back later in the summer, the school said.

The plan for men’s basketball and football was submitted to state higher education officials as a pilot program, which would the school says will allow it to solidify policies and procedures prior to the general student body’s return in mid-August, UConn said in a statement.

“The health and well-being of our student-athletes and staff is our top priority and I am pleased that we will be able to begin the process of welcoming our teams back to campus,” athletic director David Benedict said.

Before athletes are cleared to begin workouts, they must test negative for COVID-19 and enter into a modified isolation within small groups.

Each athlete must then pass a physical exam conducted by UConn team physicians and athletic trainers before they are cleared to begin training.

The athletes and staff will have daily temperature checks before training. They also will be provided with social distancing guidlines and personal protective equipment, such as masks.

The football team can being on-field activities with coaches on July 11 and basketball teams can begin coach-supervised activities on July 20.

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