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Health and Safety Protocols Finalized for 2022 Summer Nationals in Minneapolis

06/23/2022, 12:15pm CDT
By Bryan Wendell

The protocols are largely unchanged from the April NAC in Charlotte, with one exception being the removal of the requirement that fencers wear face masks under their fencing masks while competing.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — USA Fencing announced today that our health and safety protocols, which are designed to protect athletes, coaches, referees and spectators, will remain mostly unchanged for the 2022 USA Fencing National Championships and July Challenge, also known as Summer Nationals.

One exception applies to fencers during live competition. As we announced in May, fencers are no longer required to wear a face mask under their fencing mask during bouts in which they are competing.

This change also resulted in a change to the rest period during direct elimination bouts. That break had been extended to 90 seconds to give athletes additional rest time but has now been returned to 60 seconds.

Summer Nationals will take place July 2–11, 2022, at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Protocols in place for Minneapolis include:

  • Masks: Everyone in attendance ages 3 and older, including coaches, athletes, spectators and staff must wear a mask that covers their mouth and nose at all times (with the lone exception noted above). According to the USA Fencing mask mandate, masks must be two-layer cloth masks or surgical face coverings. Single-layer gaiters, bandannas, masks with vents, and inserts that clip into the fencing mask and do not fully contact the athlete's face are not permitted.
  • Proof of vaccination: Everyone in attendance ages 12 and older — including coaches, athletes, spectators and staff — must provide proof of vaccination. Everyone in attendance between the ages of 3 and 11 — including spectators — must provide proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result from within 72 hours of arrival to the venue. For more information, see the “Providing Your Proof of Vaccination” section below.
  • Social distancing: We encourage everyone to practice social distancing measures while in the venue.
  • Handshakes: Athletes should salute at the conclusion of a bout instead of shaking hands with each other, the referee and coaches.

While our fencing competitions have returned in full force, the pandemic is not yet over. All of us at USA Fencing thank you for your diligent effort to keep our fencers safe, healthy and competition-ready.

Providing Your Proof of Vaccination

Individuals who have completed a COVID vaccine series (Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, Novavak, Sinovac, Sinopharm, Covaxin, or CoronaVac) 14 days prior to arrival at the venue will NOT need to obtain a negative PCR test result.

  • Participating athletes ages 12 and older must have uploaded their vaccination cards onto their membership profile for approval from the national office. Please reach out to nationalevents@usafencing.org if your vaccination verification is still pending or if you have any questions on why your vaccination entry was denied. 
  • Participating athletes ages 11 and under must provide proof of vaccination through their membership profile OR a negative PCR test result from within 72 hours of arrival at the venue. Only one of these pieces of documentation will be required for each individual — NOT both, and participants ages 11 and under are NOT required to be vaccinated.
  • All other attendees — coaches, spectators and staff — ages 12 and older will be required to present proof of vaccination. Coaches and staff can submit their vaccination card onto their own membership profile or bring a copy to the venue. Spectators can create a free profile and submit their vaccination card there or simply bring a copy for verification onsite. If you've uploaded your card into your profile, you'll be able to quickly scan your membership ID at registration.  
  • All other attendees ages 3 to 11 will be required to present proof of vaccination OR a negative PCR test result. 

COVID-19 Testing for Medical or Religious Exempt Individuals

All attendees of the tournament, ages 12 and older, who are not vaccinated must submit a religious or medical exemption request to the National Office for review. If an individual has been approved for a medical or religious exemption, he or she must provide their approval email received from the National Office, as well as a negative COVID-19 PCR test result. This includes athletes and staff, as well as all coaches and spectators. PCR test results must be from within 72 hours prior to arrival at the venue. Proof of your negative COVID-19 test result and exemption must be presented to a USA Fencing staff member at registration for verification.

Fencers Who Test Positive Before the Event

If an individual tests positive for COVID-19 within 10 days prior to the competition, they should not attend the tournament and should notify USA Fencing at withdrawals@usafencing.org.

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