OHSAA releases recommendations for sports to return to play amid pandemic

OHSAA releases recommendations for sports to return to play amid pandemic
High School Football (Source: WAVE 3 News)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - As the fall sports season is quickly approaching, the Ohio High School Athletic Association released their list of general Return to Play Recommendations for COVID-19, recommendations for individual sports, and the Acknowledgement and Pledge student-athletes will be given to sign in order to play in the pandemic.

In the manual, the OHSAA instructs schools to attempt to significantly mitigate exposures by:

  • Maintaining physical distancing while not on the field or court of play;
  • Requiring face coverings while not on the field or court of play;
  • Reducing or greatly eliminating unnecessary travel;
  • Reducing or eliminating sharing of common equipment, and
  • Reducing or eliminating contact frequency with student-athletes from schools and non-interscholastic programs outside of each school’s league/conference or normal competition sphere.

The manual also lists procedures for contest-day screening, locker rooms, and field cleaning.

As for spectators, the OHSAA recommends having them have their temperature taken prior to entering the competition venue, wear a facemask at all possible times, be restricted from congregating in common areas, be restricted from direct competition areas and visiting student-athletes and personnel before, during, and after events.

The OSHAA also instructs local school administrators to consult with local health departments to determine if cheerleaders, mascots, and dance teams should participate in events, and if marching bands may march at games where physical distancing is possible.

Click on the sport to view the OHSAA’s 2020 COVID-19 recommendations for each individual sport:

The OHSAA is having student-athletes sign an Acknowledgement and Pledge form agreeing to protect themselves, their peers, and the entire community by following a list of CDC guidelines.

Some the items on the list include getting tested for COVID-19 and potentially quarantining if they have been exposed to a known positive case, quarantining if they test positive, timely report any known or potential exposures to school leaders, and wear PPE in all public spaces.

By signing the form, the student-athletes also agrees to getting a flu shot.

One of the pledges on the form states:

“I understand COVID-19 is a highly contagious virus, and it is possible to develop and contract the COVID-19 disease, even if I follow all the safety precautions above and those recommended by the CDC, local health department, and others. I understand that although my school is following the coronavirus guidelines issued by the CDC and other experts to reduce the spread of infection, I can never be completely shielded from all risk of illness caused by COVID19 or other infections.”

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