As fall high school sports practices continue in Wilkes County in anticipation of contests beginning on Monday, the N.C. High School Athletic Association announced last week it has no plans to create a detailed adjusted guidelines document, such as the 2020 modified sports manual that resulted from the coronavirus pandemic.
The NCHSAA noted that its policies are subject to change, in keeping with any executive orders from Gov. Roy Cooper.
Member schools have autonomy for their respective home events during the regular season to enforce more restrictive policies/requirements, the NCHSAA noted.
Once the competition begins, competing schools are responsible for communicating with one another regarding any face-covering policies and/or spectator requirements well in advance of scheduled contests.
Exceptions for face coverings should be communicated between competing school athletic administrators prior to the contest, stated the NCHSAA.
When required, face coverings should be properly worn, which means covering both the nose and mouth.
The NCHSAA advised the public to contact and work with local health departments concerning COVID issues and concerns in the county.
The NCHSAA also recommended following the StrongSchoolsNC K-12 public health toolkit published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last year and updated Tuesday.
In it, the CDC recommends screening testing for high-risk sports and extracurricular activities at least once per week for participants who are not fully vaccinated.
In instances of high virus transmission (red conditions), the CDC recommends canceling or holding high-risk sports and extracurricular activities virtually to protect in-person learning, unless all participants are fully vaccinated.
The CDC defines high-risk sports as close-contact or indoor sports.
In cases of low transmission virus rates, the CDC said that schools do not need to screen students participating in low- and intermediate-risk sports.
For moderate to high rates of transmission, the CDC recommends screening testing for low- and intermediate-risk sports at least once per week for participants who are not fully vaccinated.