High-Risk Scholastic Sports to Return Feb. 1

High-risk scholastic sports, including wrestling, basketball and cheer, will restart Feb.1, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone announced Monday.

The plan will allow about 21,500 students  to participate in their sports.   It was worked out with the Suffolk County School Superintendents Association and Section XI, the governing body for schools sports in the county. 

The county Health Department has mandated weekly Covid-19 tests of participating athletes, the first in state to do so. The rules include:

  • Taking the temperatures of players and coaches prior to practices and games. 
  • Masks should be worn whenever possible, especially when on the sidelines not engaged in play. 
  • Enforce social distancing when not engaged in play. 
  • Require hand washing or sanitizing of hands before and after practices and games, and after sharing equipment. 
  • Minimize equipment sharing. Players should bring their own equipment; have individual water bottles, and no sharing of food. 
  • Maintain attendance logs of players, staff, and coaches. Attendance logs should include contact information. 
  • Play in smart spaces. Always outdoors if possible. Use large and well-ventilated spaces for play. 
  • Consider dividing larger teams into smaller groups and stagger practices with different times or days. Limit those individuals not essential to the practice from attending.

Section XI announced plans to run three shortened sports seasons for jayvee and varsity athletes, starting with winter from Jan. 4 to Feb. 27, then fall sports from March 1 to April 25, and the spring sports season from April 26 to June 19. Earlier this month, low and moderate risk winter sports including, boys and girls winter track, fencing, bowling and boys swimming resumed in Suffolk County.


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