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New Guidelines Issued for Athletics

New Guidelines Issued for Athletics
Posted on 10/07/2020
New Guidelines Issued for Athletics

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – October 7, 2020

New Guidelines Issued for Athletics

Port Angeles, WA – Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) announced yesterday the issuance of new guidelines for education-based sports and activities. Governor Inslee along with the Washington State Department of Health provided updated guidance utilizing a county’s COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents and the percentage of positive tests. According to Clallam County’s website, updated today, Clallam County is currently at 21 cases per 100,000 with 1.7% positivity rate. Data specific to Clallam County can be found at http://www.clallam.net/coronavirus/.

Superintendent Brewer said, “We know our student athletes are eager to participate in the activities they love. This is exciting and long overdue!”

The updated guidelines mirror those previously issued by the Department of Health to aid schools in their decision-making for returning to school (see DOH’s Decision Tree issued August 5, 2020). The three categories indicate low, moderate, or high risk and allow for varying levels of participation. While Clallam County has been in the low category (under 25 cases per 100k) for four days, Clallam County Health Officer Dr. Unthank recommends at least two weeks at the low level before moving into that category for athletics. Accordingly, the school district will be operating at the moderate level, which per WIAA is the following: (1) Scrimmage, intra-team competitions, and league games allowed for both low and moderate-risk sporting activities. Scrimmage, intra-team competitions allowed for high-risk sporting activities. (2) No tournaments allowed. (3) No spectators allowed except for one adult parent/guardian/caregiver for each student-participant in uniform. Spectators must maintain physical distance of at least six (6) feet between each person.

WIAA has also classified sports into low, moderate, and high risk categories. This determines which sports are allowed in each category. Low-risk sporting activities include cross country, golf, sideline/no contact cheerleading and dance, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field. Moderate-risk sports are baseball, gymnastics, soccer, softball, and volleyball. High-risk sporting activities are identified as basketball, cheerleading and dance with contact, football, and wrestling.

Dr. Unthank stated, “We at the Clallam County Health Department are very happy to see some return to physical activity and normalcy for our kids.” Unthank added, “The success of this return to play will hinge on the dedication of athletes, coaches, and their families to following COVID-19 safety guidelines on and off the field. We have the utmost confidence in our school districts’ commitment to apply these new guidelines safely.”

When asked about the new guidelines, Athletic Director Dwayne Johnson shared, “Coaches are mindfully planning and focusing on safety measures for our student-athletes.” Johnson further stated, “We would like to thank all the personnel involved for their tireless efforts that went into these recent guidelines being approved at the state level in Olympia.”

For more information:

Jennifer Sperline, Communications Coordinator
Port Angeles School District
360.565.3703
jsperline@portangelesschools.org