What happens if a player tests positive at US Open? Or if the player leaves the bubble? Some answers…

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The US Open will go ahead and while a lot of questions remain unanswered, the United States Tennis Association has started to issue some guidelines for players and their guests.

The 2020 hard-court Grand Slam at Flushing Meadows as well as warm-up event the Western & Southern Open will be like no other tournament before due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Both events will be played without spectators with strict health protocols, which includes a bio-secure bubble with regular testing, in place to ensure the safety of the players.

Some details are still being worked on, but the USTA has issued some guidelines.

What happens if a player tests positive?

“In accordance to the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and CDC guidelines, if a player tests positive he/she will be isolated immediately and if the player’s competition has started, he/she will be automatically withdrawn.

“The US Open Medical team will oversee the player’s treatment plan based on Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) guidelines. Currently, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) outlines that an infected person must isolate for 10 days and be fever free for 72 hours without the assistance of medication.”

How will the withdrawal be treated under tournament rules?

“Once a player as completed a USO singles match, and the player is forced to withdraw due to a positive test, this will be treated as a regular medical withdrawal (prize money and points awarded).

When will players and their support teams be tested?

“Upon arrival at the hotel on day (1), players and their guests will check in and be directed to the testing room. If there is no wait, players and their support team may get tested right away. If there is a wait, players and their support team will set an appointment time and they will be permitted to rest in their rooms.

“The PCR anterior nares nasal swab test is mandatory.

“In addition, players and their support team members are encouraged to take the antibody test. The antibody test is not mandatory, but is highly recommended by the WSO & USO infectious disease doctor.”

How often will players and their support staff be tested?

“Approximately 48 hours after the initial PCR anterior nares swab test, players and their guests will be required to undergo a second PCR test. The second test will serve to confirm the results of the first test. Players will continue to have full access to the tournament site and resources at the hotel.

“Depending on the result of the antibody test (if the player or their support team elected to take the antibody test), PCR testing will be based on:

“Every 4 days for those with negative antibodies, or, those who decided not to take the antibody test, OR, every 7 days for those with positive antibody results.”

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What happens if a player or permitted Tier 1 guest leaves the bubble?

“If a player leaves the WSO/and or the USO bubble without written permission of the Chief Medical Officer or the Tournament Director, the player will be removed from the competition. In that case the player will receive the points earned from the last round completed and a financial penalty.

“If a coach or a guest of the player leaves the bubble, then the player’s guest credential will be removed and the guest will be required to leave the hotel within 48 hours. In addition, there will be a fine for a player’s guest leaving the bubble and the guest’s credentials will not be provided for the 2021 USO.

“Details regarding the definition of the bubble, the hotel/private home security and monitoring procedures, information gathering to confirm the player or their guest left the bubble without permission and the process to confirm, and the financial penalties will be provided in the near future.”

Will the USTA cancel the US Open if a certain number of players test positive during the event? How will the USTA decide if there are too many positive test results that could jeopardize the event and the health of other players and staff?

“There are no guidelines to determine what number will compel the USTA to cancel the WSO or the US Open.

“The USTA has been consulting with officials at the NYS Department of Health and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH) while planning this year’s tournament.

“We will continue to consult with the same public health officials and determine what situations may result in the cancellation of the tournaments.”

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