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TMSD Athletic Return to Play Plan

Introduction

The Tussey Mountain School District (TMSD) endeavors to limit the spread of Covid-19 by promoting social distancing and taking all necessary precautions in accordance with the federal, state, and local government guidelines. Currently, Bedford County is in the “green phase” and experiencing limited cases of Covid-19. The below strategies are tailored for TMSD and are subject to change based on future conditions associated with Covid-19. Additionally, the TMSD endeavors to work closely with parents and the community by asking for their support during the implementation of this plan. If a parent or student is exposed to Covid-19, we ask them to notify their coach and school to limit the exposure to other athletes and staff. This notification is paramount to the success of this plan, along with educating staff members on following the appropriate guidelines listed below.

Pre-Workout Screening

Currently, information about Covid-19 supports a large percentage of people affected are asymptomatic. The athletic department will have thermometers available to check temperatures as needed. Please know any student or staff member with a high temperature (100.4 or greater), or other symptoms of Covid-19, will be excluded from practices and events until cleared by a physician. If the individual is not evaluated and cleared by a physician, they may be subject to a 14-day quarantine. Additionally, the district will communicate any potential exposures with all parties involved.

Limitation on number of students participating together

The TMSD will work with coaches to maximize spacing within drills and activities in their sport to promote social distancing.

Obviously, there are some sports in which close contact is inevitable. When possible, coaches will keep athletes at a 6 foot distance apart during practices and drills. Coaches and athletes must maintain appropriate social distancing at all times possible, including in the field of play, locker rooms, sidelines, dugouts, benches, and workout areas. During down time, athletes and coaches should not congregate.

Coaches are also being advised to look for creative ways to promote social distancing during practices and games for their sport, when possible.

Weight Room

The TMSD will provide education to all sport coaches, and other staff regarding social distancing, hygiene, and cleaning of equipment. The District provided additional hand sanitation and cleaning stations to help promote proper cleaning of any equipment used. Spotters for maximum weight lifts should be stationed at each end of the bar.

Sanitizing Facilities

The weight room will be cleaned daily by the custodial staff with products which effectively disinfect all surfaces according to industry standards. The District will frequently clean highly touched and often used surfaces. The district will require that all athletes and coaches clean each used piece of equipment after use with the products supplied in the weight room.

Other areas of athletic use will also be cleaned and sanitized more often in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19. These areas include but are not limited to: locker rooms, gyms, restrooms, equipment storage rooms, and frequently touched surfaces.

Permitted Types of Physical Activity

The Tussey Mountain School District recognizes there are paramount activities fundamental to each sport. Given the importance of such activities, the district's plan centers on minimizing social contact while at the same time balancing the needs of each sport. For example, during athletic practices, athletes should stand 6 feet apart when not participating during a drill.

Activities that increase the risk of exposure to saliva must not be allowed 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.

Additionally, the district is recommending coaches examine their drills and practice structure to use appropriate judgment regarding the frequency of drills requiring social contact.

Usage of Athletic Equipment

When TMSD issues individualized equipment, the district will require students to use only that assigned equipment. Sharing of equipment is not permitted. Also, all worn garments and towels should be washed daily. The athletic department will work with individual sport coaches on an equipment sanitation plan specific to their sport.

*The district will provide a sanitizer to disinfect balls and other used equipment periodically. This method not only is a safeguard from Covid-19, but is also a precaution to prevent many other bacterial and viral infections, as well.

Individualized Hydration

TMSD encourages all athletes, coaches, and officials to bring their own water and drinks to team activities. Team water coolers for sharing through disposable cups are not allowed. Fixed water fountains should not be used and will be out of order until further notice.