RETURN TO SPORTS SAFETY PROCEDURES

RETURN TO SPORTS SAFETY GUIDELINES

WEST SHORE SCHOOL DISTRICT ATHLETIC HEALTH AND SAFETY PLAN FOR RESUMING SPORTS-RELATED ACTIVITIES

INTRODUCTION

The West Shore School District has outlined the following health and safety plan for athletics in accordance with Pennsylvania’s Guidance for All Sports Permitted to Operate During the COVID- 19 Disaster Emergency. Administration reviewed the necessary precautions and recommendations from the federal, state, and local governments, CDC, PA DOH, as well as the NFHS and PIAA. Athletic Directors also consulted with head coaches as part of a collaborative effort in summarizing the District’s recommendations for the return to sports participation.

The West Shore School District realizes the knowledge regarding COVID-19 is constantly changing, and as new information becomes available, these recommendations will be adjusted as needed in order to decrease the risk of exposure for our staff, students, and spectators. The Athletics Health and Safety Plan is aligned to the PDE Preliminary Guidance for Phased Reopening of Pre-K to 12 Schools, and the decision to resume sports-related activities, including conditioning, practices and games, is at the discretion of a school entity’s governing body.

Any sports-related activities in Yellow or Green phased counties must adhere to the gathering limitations set forth by the Governor’s Plan for Phased Reopening (25 in yellow, 250 in green) and the facility as a whole may not exceed 50% of total occupancy otherwise permitted by law. During the Yellow and Green phases of reopening, sports-related activities at the PK-12 level are limited to student athletes, coaches, officials, and staff only. The addition of visitors and spectators will becontingentuponfuturehealthconditionswithinthestateandlocalcommunities. Thisguidance is preliminary; as more public health information is available, the administration may work with impacted entities to release further guidance which could impact fall, winter, or spring seasons.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Any questions regarding this Health and Safety Plan as well as athletic questions related to COVID-19 should be directed to the following planning team members:

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Tammi Jones
Director of Secondary Education 
[email protected]

John Kosydar
Cedar Cliff Athletic Director 
[email protected]

Dan Hagerman
Red Land Athletic Director

[email protected]

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RECOMMENDATIONS

Athletic Directors will educate all head coaches and athletic training staff on the desired health and safety protocols for the phased reopening of sports. Upon review of the District plan, head coaches will respond to the Athletic Director with sport specific application protocol and will educate all assistant coaches, program volunteers, and athletes prior to conducting any activities within the West Shore School District.

In accordance with the CDC Considerations for Events and Gatherings, the District will implement strategies to promote healthy behaviors that reduce the spread of COVID-19 among staff, athletes, and attendees such as:

  • ?  Staying Home when Appropriate

  • ?  Promoting Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette

  • ?  Wearing Cloth Face Coverings when Appropriate

  • ?  Providing Adequate Supplies

  • ?  Posting Signs and Messages

    Further, the District will continue to utilize multiple strategies for Maintaining a Healthy Environment.

    PHASE ONE:

    Phase one will provide an initial acclimation period minimally for one week for each participating team under the following guidelines:

    Pre-workout Screening:

  • ?  All coaches and students will self-screen and monitor for signs/symptoms of COVID- 19 prior to attending a workout. Screenings may include a temperature check.

  • ?  Any person with positive symptoms should stay home and is not permitted to take part in workouts. Anyone with symptoms should contact his or her primary care provider or other appropriate health-care professional.

  • ?  Attendance for all coaches, athletes and officials will be recorded and submitted weekly to the athletic trainer office.

    Limitations on Gatherings:

  • ?  During phase one of reopening, sports-related activities at the PK-12 level are limited to student athletes, coaches, and staff only.

  • ?  No gathering of more than 25 athletes per scheduled field/court. Where feasible, limit groups to a maximum of 10-12 student-athletes per group to encourage social distancing.

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  • ?  Activities are to be limited to conditioning, strength training, agility, or individual skill development. Shared equipment is not permitted during phase one.

  • ?  Social Distancing should be applied during practices and for gathering areas.

  • ?  Locker Room/Team Room usage is not permitted.

    Facilities Cleaning:

  • ?  Continued best practices in cleaning and sanitizing will be followed.

  • ?  Weight Room Equipment should be wiped down after each individual’s use as well as

    after the conclusion of the group session.

  • ?  Appropriate athletic clothing/shoes should be worn at all times to minimize sweat from

    transmitting onto equipment surfaces.

    Physical Activity:

  • ?  Students should refrain from sharing clothing/towels and workout clothing should be washed after each practice.

  • ?  Shared equipment during a team session is not permitted during phase one. All equipment should be properly disinfected at the conclusion of the session.

  • ?  Hand Sanitizer should be used periodically.

  • ?  Athletes may wear cloth masks if so desired, but athletes should NOT wear a mask

    when engaged in any highly aerobic activity or if it will limit proper breathing during

    an activity.

  • ?  Coaching staff and other adult personnel should wear face coverings (masks or face

    shields), except when social distancing is feasible or when doing so jeopardizes their health.

    Hydration:

All athletes and coaches MUST bring their own water and drinks to team activities. Water bottles MAY NOT BE SHARED. Team water coolers for sharing through disposable cups are not allowed. Fixed water fountains should not be used.

PHASE TWO:

Phase two may begin any time after the completion of the acclimation period as outlined in Phase One.

Pre-workout/Contest Screening:

All coaches, athletes and athletic personnel will self-screen and monitor for signs/symptoms of COVID-19 prior to attending a workout/practice/game.

  • ?  Any person who has COVID-19 symptoms is not permitted to participate and should contact their primary care physician or other appropriate health-care provider.

  • ?  Attendance for all coaches, athletes and officials will be recorded and submitted weekly to the athletic trainer office.

    Limitations on Gatherings:

  • ?  State and Local Guidelines will be followed in regard to size limitations for all events/contests. Any sports-related activities in Green phased counties must adhere to the gathering limitations set forth by the Governor’s Plan for Phased Reopening (250 in green) and the facility as a whole may not exceed 50% of total occupancy otherwise permitted by law.

  • ?  During the Green phase of reopening, sports-related activities are limited to student athletes, coaches, officials, and staff only. The addition of visitors and spectators will be contingent upon future health conditions within the state and local communities.

  • ?  Social distancing will continue to be applied to athletes when not directly engaged in a contest/activity.

  • ?  Locker Room/ Team Room usage is not permitted until the start of the official PIAA Fall season and/or heat acclimation period for the members of the football team.

    Facilities Cleaning:

  • ?  Continued best practices in cleaning and sanitizing will be followed.

  • ?  Weight Room Equipment should be wiped down after each individual’s use as well as

    after the conclusion of the group session.

  • ?  Appropriate athletic clothing/shoes should be worn at all times to minimize sweat from

    transmitting onto equipment surfaces.

    Physical Activity:

  • ?  Where feasible, coaches should continue to focus on conditioning, strength training, and individual skill development, but regular off-season activities and competitions are permitted to begin in accordance with State, Local, and PIAA guidelines.

  • ?  Whenever feasible, equipment and other items should not be shared. If equipment must be shared during an event, all equipment should be properly disinfected as needed. Any athletic equipment that must be used by multiple individuals may necessitate cleaning intermittently during practice and events if deemed necessary.

  • ?  All equipment, regardless of individual or shared usage, should be properly disinfected as needed.

  • ?  Students should refrain from sharing clothing/towels and workout clothing should be washed after each practice.

  • ?  Hand Sanitizer should be used periodically.

  • ?  Athletes may wear cloth masks if so desired, but athletes should NOT wear a mask when engaged in any highly aerobic activity or if it will limit proper breathing during an activity.

  • ?  Coaching staff and other adult personnel should wear face coverings (masks or face shields), except when social distancing is feasible or when doing so jeopardizes their health.

    Hydration:

All athletes and coaches MUST bring their own water and drinks to team activities. Water bottles MAY NOT BE SHARED. Team water coolers for sharing through disposable cups are discouraged. Fixed water fountains should not be used.

Transportation:

No district provided transportation is permitted during Phase Two.

PHASE THREE: START OF PIAA FALL SEASON

Phase three will begin under the following guidelines effective with the start of the Fall Sports Season as designated by PIAA. The current date is set for Monday, August 17, 2020, for all fall sports with a heat acclimatization period for football scheduled to begin on Monday, August 10, 2020. Phase three guidelines are intended to be a full return to PIAA practices and competitions, pending any new guidelines/protocol from PIAA for the 2020-2021 PIAA Sports Season.

Practices/Games or Contest Screening:

  • ?  Any person who has COVID-19 symptoms is not permitted to participate in any workout/practice/game and should contact their primary care physician or other appropriate health-care provider.

  • ?  Attendance for all coaches, athletes and officials will be recorded if required by PIAA. Limitations on Gatherings:

  • ?  State and Local Guidelines will be followed in regard to limitations for all events/contests.

  • ?  Current guidelines on social distancing will be followed. Games/Contest

All practices and competitions are expected to be in accordance with State, Local, and PIAA guidelines.

Facilities Cleaning:

  • ?  Current practices in cleaning and sanitization will be followed as directed in the prior phases.

  • ?  Locker room/Team Room usage will now be permitted and will necessitate routine cleaning after team use.

    Hydration:

Athletes and coaches are encouraged to bring their own water and drinks to practices and games. Hydration stations will be available as provided by the Athletic Trainer. No water bottles can be shared. Team water coolers for sharing through disposable cups are allowed. Athletes should be discouraged from using the fixed water fountains.

Transportation:

Potential modifications to student bussing will be determined in accordance with the District’s bus contractor as well as the guidelines provided by the Department of Education and any State and Local government recommendations.

Social Distancing during Contests/Events/Activities:

  • ?  Sidelines/Bench – appropriate social distancing will need to be maintained on sidelines/bench during contests and events, as deemed necessary by the school, PIAA, state and local governments.

  • ?  Activities that increase the risk of exposure to saliva are discouraged including chewing gum, spitting, licking fingers, and eating sunflower seeds.

  • ?  Avoid shaking hands, fist bumps, or high fives before, during or after games and practices. Limit unnecessary physical contact with teammates, other athletes, coaches, officials, and spectators.

    Overnight/Out of State Events/ Events in COVID-19 Hot Spots:

The West Shore School District will evaluate each event and follow all local/state government guidelines on a case by case basis. Every consideration will be taken as to not expose students to unnecessary or potential high risk exposure.

GUIDANCE FOR POSITIVE CASES OR PERSONS SHOWING COVID-19 SYMPTOMS

Staff or Athletes who may be Sick:

  • ?  If you are sick with COVID-19 or think you are infected with the virus, STAY AT HOME. It is essential that you take steps to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home or community. If you think you have been exposed to COVID- 19 and develop a fever and symptoms, call your health-care provider for medical advice.

  • ?  Notify the school immediately (principal, athletic director, athletic trainer, coach).

  • ?  It will be determined if others who may have been exposed (students, coaches, staff)

    need to be notified, isolated, and /or monitored for symptoms.

  • ?  If a Positive case of COVID-19 is diagnosed, Contact Tracing may be implemented

    with the assistance of local health professionals and the CDC/PA DOH.

    Staff and Athletes Presenting COVID-19 Symptoms during a Workout/practice/game:

  • ?  Every effort will be made to isolate the ill individual from others, until the student or staff member can leave the school or event.

  • ?  For students, a parent/guardian will be contacted immediately and arrangements will be made for the student to be picked up.

  • ?  Ill individuals will be asked to contact their physician or appropriate healthcare professional for direction.

    Staff and Athletes Returning to Athletics after a COVID-19 Diagnosis:

  • ?  Athletes should be determined to be non-contagious, fever free (without fever-reducing medicine) with improvement in respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath), no vomiting or diarrhea, and should receive medical clearance from their physician or appropriate health-care professional to return to activity, in accordance with then- current CDC guidance.

  • ?  Staff may return to work in accordance with then-current PA Department of Health and CDC guidance.

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