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COVID-19 Strength & Conditioning and Sport Specific Instruction. By Texas UIL.

COVID-19 Strength & Conditioning and Sport Specific Instruction

UPDATED JULY 8, 2020

COVID-19 Strength & Conditioning and Sport Specific Instruction – Full Printable Version

Summer Strength/Conditioning Programs & Sport Specific Skill Instruction & Section 1206 (h) of the UIL C&CR

Individual Sport Regulations

TEA – Other and Non-UIL Activities PDF

Updates

Updates Released 7/8/2020:

The updated guidelines for UIL Summer Strength and Conditioning and Sport Specific Instruction are described below. This guidance is in effect immediately until the first day of instruction or the start of in-season activities, whichever is earlier.

UIL will continue to work with state officials and monitor CDC and other federal guidance to determine any potential modifications.

Deciding Whether to Offer In-Person Summer Strength and Conditioning

Schools should take their local context into account when making decisions related to summer strength and conditioning on campus. Schools should follow all state requirements when considering strength and conditioning activities. Schools should consider developing a plan consistent with the guidance below for mitigating COVID-19 spread for these activities and posting this plan on the school’s website. Schools are required to develop these plans for the 2020-2021 school year, and may choose to do so for summer activities as well. These plans do not require further approval by UIL.

Requirements for All Workouts

Consider having an individual or group of individuals wholly or partially dedicated to ensuring health protocols are being successfully implemented and followed. Schools must follow all requirements of state and local authorities in addition to the requirements below:

Face Coverings- Executive Order GA-29

Executive Order GA-29, regarding face coverings, applies to all UIL activities effective July 3, 2020. This includes all 2020 summer activities and in-season activities for the 2020-2021 school year. As the public health situation changes, and/or if subsequent Executive Orders are issued by Governor Greg Abbott, these guidelines may be further modified.

  1. For the purposes of this document, masks and face coverings include non-medical grade disposable face masks, cloth face coverings (over the nose and mouth), or full-face shields to protect eyes, nose, and mouth.  Face shields may be superior to cloth face coverings in many circumstances, given improved ability to see mouth movements and improved air circulation.
  2. All employees, parents, visitors and students ten years of age or older must wear face coverings or face shields upon entry to an area where UIL activities are being conducted and when not actively exercising, unless an exception listed below applies.
  3. The face coverings requirements do not apply to a school in a county that meets the requirements of paragraph 11 of Executive Order GA-29, unless the local school system chooses to implement these requirements locally. Even in these circumstances, the wearing of face coverings or face shields is strongly encouraged.
  4. Exceptions to the wearing of face coverings or face shields include:
  • Any person with a medical condition or disability that prevents wearing a face covering;
  • While a person is consuming food or drink;
  • While the person is in a pool, lake, or similar body of water.
  • When a congregating group of persons maintains at least 6 feet of social distancing; or
  • Any other reason or circumstance indicated under Executive Order GA-29.

For the purposes of summer workouts, schools must require students, staff, and visitors to wear face coverings when entering and exiting facilities and practice areas, and when not actively exercising. Schools may, for example, allow students who are actively exercising to remove face coverings as long as they maintain at least six feet of distance from other students and staff who are not wearing face coverings. However, schools must require students and staff to wear face coverings as they get into positions that allow them to maintain safe distancing.

Required Screening

Staff – Required Screening before attending or participating in activities:

Other Requirements and Operational Considerations

  • Attendance at workouts must be optional for students and in compliance with the rules for Summer Strength/Conditioning Programs & Sport Specific Skill Instruction noted below. In addition to on-campus workout options, schools should consider providing students guidance for working out at home or remotely away from school. This can include virtual workouts, emailed or otherwise electronically delivered workout instructions, or any delivery model approved by the local school district.
  • Attendance records shall be kept, however, students shall not be required or allowed to make up missed days or workouts.
  • Fees, if any, shall be established by the superintendent and collected by the school. Any payment to coaches shall be from the school and from no other source.
  • Schools must develop mitigation plans as described above in order to provide students access to locker rooms and shower facilities beginning July 13, 2020. Students may not be given access to locker rooms or shower facilities prior to that date. Students should report to workouts in proper gear and immediately return home to shower at end of the workout.
  • Schools should have hand sanitizer or hand-washing stations readily available in the workout area. Students and staff should be encouraged to use it frequently.
  • All surfaces in workout areas should be thoroughly disinfected throughout and at the end of each day.
  • No clothing or towels may be laundered on site or shared during workouts.
  • There can be no shared water or food.
  • Schools should plan for entry and exit procedures that reduce the number of students and parents congregating outside and/or mixing around the workout areas and parking areas. Consider staggering start and end times, assigning students to entries and exits to ensure even distribution of students entering/exiting at each entry point, providing guidance to students to enter one at a time and wait six feet apart outside the entrance.
  • If the school is planning to offer transportation for summer activities, schools should follow all TEA guidance related to such transportation.

* Schools should consider having students remain with a single group or cohort to minimize the number of students and staff that must isolate if a case is confirmed. See Positive Cases and Staff or Students Showing COVID Symptoms at the bottom of this document.

Strength and Conditioning Workouts

In addition to the above requirements for all workouts, the following applies to strength and conditioning activities: 

Sport Specific Instruction

In addition to the above requirements for all workouts, the following applies to sport-specific instruction:
Sport Specific Activities Conducted Outdoors
Sport Specific Activities Conducted Indoors

Individuals Confirmed, Suspected, or Exposed to COVID-19

Any individuals–including teachers, staff, students, or other campus visitors–who themselves either: (a) are lab-confirmed to have COVID-19; or (b) experience the symptoms of COVID-19 (listed below) must stay at home throughout the infection period, and cannot return to campus until the school system screens the individual to determine any of the below conditions for campus re-entry have been met:

In the case of an individual who was diagnosed with COVID-19, the individual may return to school when all three of the following criteria are met:

  • at least three days (72 hours) have passed since recovery (resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications);
  • the individual has improvement in symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and
  • at least ten days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

In the case of an individual who has symptoms that could be COVID-19 and who is not evaluated by a medical professional or tested for COVID-19, such individual is assumed to have COVID-19, and the individual may not return to the campus until the individual has completed the same three-step set of criteria listed above.

If the individual has symptoms that could be COVID-19 and wants to return to school before completing the above stay at home period, the individual must either (a) obtain a medical professional’s note clearing the individual for return based on an alternative diagnosis or (b) receive two separate confirmations at least 24 hours apart that they are free of COVID via acute infection tests at an approved COVID-19 testing location found at https://tdem.texas.gov/covid-19/.

Individuals – including students, teachers, staff, or other campus visitors–who have had close contact with someone who is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19, as narrowly defined in this document and as determined by the appropriate public health agency, should stay at home through the 14-day incubation period, and should not be allowed on campus.

School systems should screen individuals after the incubation period has concluded, and if the individual did not experience COVID-19 symptoms during that period, the individual can be allowed back on campus. If the individual experienced symptoms, they must stay at home until the conditions outlined above have been met.

This document refers to “close contact” with an individual who is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19. Close contact is determined by an appropriate public health agency. For clarity, close contact is defined as:

  • being directly exposed to infectious secretions (e.g., being coughed on while not wearing a mask or face shield); or
  • being within 6 feet for a cumulative duration of 15 minutes, while not wearing a mask or face shield;

if either occurred at any time in the last 14 days at the same time the infected individual was infectious.

Individuals are presumed infectious at least two days prior to symptom onset or, in the case of asymptomatic individuals who are lab-confirmed with COVID-19, two days prior to the confirming lab test.

Identifying Possible COVID-19 Cases

  1. Schools must immediately separate any student who shows COVID-19 symptoms until the student can be picked up by a parent or guardian.
  2. Schools should clean the areas used by the individual who shows COVID-19 symptoms (student, teacher, or staff) as soon as is feasible.
  3. Students who report feeling feverish should be given an immediate temperature check to determine if they are symptomatic for COVID-19.

Required Actions if Individuals with Lab-Confirmed Cases Have Been in a School or in an Area Where UIL Activities Are being Conducted

  1. If an individual who has been in a school is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19, the school must notify its local health department, in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations, including confidentiality requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
  2. Schools must close off areas that are heavily used by the individual with the lab-confirmed case (student, teacher, or staff) until the non-porous surfaces in those areas can be disinfected, unless more than 3 days have already passed since that person was on campus.
  3. Consistent with school notification requirements for other communicable diseases, and consistent with legal confidentiality requirements, schools must notify all teachers, staff, and families of all students in a school if a lab-confirmed COVID-19 case is identified among students, teachers or staff who participate on any on campus activities.
COVID Symptoms for Screening
  • In evaluating whether an individual has symptoms consistent with COVID-19, consider the following questions:

    Have they recently begun experiencing any of the following in a way that is not normal for them?

    o   Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit

    o   Loss of taste or smell

    o   Cough

    o   Difficulty breathing

    o   Shortness of breath

    o   Headache

    o   Chills

    o   Sore throat

    o   Shaking or exaggerated shivering

    o   Significant muscle pain or ache

    o   Diarrhea

    Screening Questionnaire Information

    When asking individuals if they have symptoms for COVID-19, school systems must only require the individual to provide a “Yes” or “No” to the overall statement that they are symptomatic for COVID-19, as opposed to asking the individual for specific symptom confirmation.  School systems are not entitled to collect information during screening on the specific health information of an individual beyond that they are symptomatic.
    Once it is determined that individuals who responded “Yes” to either of these questions have met the criteria for re-entry, school systems must destroy those individuals’ responses.