Health & Safety Plan 2020-21
Participating in interscholastic athletics is a privilege at Oakland Catholic High School and it is of the utmost importance that everyone involved - athletes, parents, coaches, and administrators-worktogethertoadheretotheguidelinesoutlinedinthisdocument. Itisthe responsibility of the participating interscholastic student athletes, parents, coaches, and administrators to follow these guidelines while in season and out of season and conditioning. Failure to follow these safety measures will jeopardize everyone’s ability to participate.
These guidelines will be reviewed and updated as needed, prior to the official start of the Fall Sports Season (August 24th for Fall sports), and throughout the 2020-2021 academic year.
- Athletic Announcements
- General Considerations
- Safety Protocols & Procedures
- Acclimatization Phases
- Actions & Responsibilities
- Events & Travel
August 22, 2020
Good evening OCHS student-athletes and families,
I am excited to share that the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) approved Fall Sports activity for 2020! Our local sports league (WPIAL) will meet on Monday, August 24th to discuss additional changes/modifications within our district but are standing by the 50-person outdoor capacity instructed by Allegheny County Health Department. As we continue to work with our local government and the diocese, I will provide OC coaches with the most up-to-date information and they will communicate my instructions to you, according to your specific sport. Remaining open to necessary changes and flexible in our current situation will decrease stress and anxiety!
In order to maintain the safety of our student-athletes, I cannot stress enough the importance of following all measures in the OCHS Health and Safety Plan, in addition to the detailed instructions of your head coaches. Mask wearing, individual water bottles, and vigilant hand washing is integral to the protection of our student-athletes. It also helps us to keep the school open and the athletics program in operation. Following all CDC guidelines both in and out of school is crucial. Limiting travel and being extremely cautious when travel is necessary, communication to the school and coaches regarding recent travel, and maintaining personal health and hygiene will minimize viral spread. Please continue to openly communicate with myself and your coaching staff about any news, updates, or symptoms you have experienced.
Each Fall sport will be holding a virtual parent meeting in the next few weeks to address concerns and questions. We all play a pivotal role in preserving the health and safety of our OCHS community - thank you for cooperating with us through the school year. If you have any specific questions, please do not hesitate to reach out. Enjoy your weekend. Wash your hands!
OC Athletic Director
- Locker rooms are closed until further notice.
- Social distancing should be practiced to the maximum extent possible (6 feet at aminimum). Practice social distancing in all public areas such as classrooms, meetingrooms, weight room, gym, and Athletic Training rooms.
- Coaching staffs are limited to essential personnel only. A list of essential personal will begiven to the Athletic Director and Athletic Trainer.
- Room capacity and the quality of ventilation in rooms/spaces will be taken intoconsideration. Smaller group meetings should be held in larger areas or outside in orderto ensure a minimum of six feet of social distancing.
- Large indoor gatherings are not permitted during Yellow Phase and strongly discouragedduring Green Phase. Virtual meetings are to be held in lieu of in-person meetings,whenever possible.
- A maximum of ten student-athletes may use the weight room at one time.
- Team meals should be pre-packaged and be served “grab-and-go” style. Food providedfor athletes must adhere to the Guidance for Businesses in Restaurant Industry.
- When at practice or competition, student-athletes, coaches, and other essential personnel are not to engage in handshakes, high-fives, fist pumps and all other forms ofcontact with one another.
- No outside groups or speakers are permitted in the facilities. *Administration has theright to approve consultants or essential workers to campus.
- Student-athletes are to be six (6) feet apart when not actively participating in a drill orphysical activity.
- Activities that increase the risk of exposure to saliva droplets are not allowed, includingbut not limited to, chewing gum, spitting, licking fingers, and eating sunflower seeds.
- If multiple games are held in the same facility, adequate time will be scheduled between contests to allow for facilities to be cleaned and disinfected, and to minimize interactionsbetween athletes.
- Booster run concession stands and other food provided for athletes must adhere to theGuidance for Businesses in Restaurant Industry and pre-packaged items.
- ALL personal athletic equipment should be cleaned daily. All student-athletes are required to take their equipment home daily for cleaning.
- Athletes CANNOT share gear and MUST use their issued equipment.
- If equipment must be shared, all equipment should be properly disinfected between users.
- Athletes must wear shirts and shoes at all times in the weight room to minimize sweat transmitting to equipment.
- Only one student-athlete at a time is permitted to report to the Athletic Training room for evaluation or treatments.
- Each athlete MUST have their OWN personally identified hydration container (i.e. water bottle) that is never shared.
- Hand sanitizers and wipes will be provided throughout the facilities and areas.
- Maintenance will set a daily cleaning and disinfecting schedule of all high traffic areas inthe weight rooms.
- Student-athletes will shower at home and limit after-school restroom use to the gym lobby restrooms until further notice.
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT:
- Student-athletes, coaches and staff are required to wear masks when in all indoor spaces. This includes athletic training room, gymnasium, and school building. Masks are to be worn outside when six feet of social distancing cannot be maintained consistently.
- Student-athletes engaged in a lift do not need to wear masks. All others, including spotters are required to wear masks when in the weight room.
- During any “down time” situations, coaches and athletes should be wearing masks.
- Cloth face coverings are considered to be adequate (surgical or N95 masks are notnecessary).
- The garment should cover the nose and mouth and allow for continued unlaboredbreathing.
- A full list with references for mask specifications and maintenance is on the CDCwebsite.
- Frequent handwashing and avoiding touching one’s face are recommended to decreasethe virus spread.
- Students-athletes, coaches, and other essential staff will be screened daily with no-touch temperature checks and a questionnaire.
- Attendance should be recorded for contact tracing reasons.
- Screening questions will include:
- Have you had any new onset of a cough, shortness of breath, or other symptom of COVID-19 as stated on the CDC website (and under 'Health Monitoring' above)?
- Have you had any known exposure to someone diagnosed with COVID-19?
- Have you been tested or tested positive for COVID-19?
- Have you experienced any recent febrile illness (aka temperature above 100F)?
- ANY student-athlete, coach, or other essential staff, who shows a temperature of >100F or responds positively to one or more of the above questions, the individual will not be granted access to the facility (or practice) and that individual will be sent home. In the case of a minor, their parent/guardian will be notified of the documented concernof illness and/or fever, and the parent/guardian will have to pick up their daughter.
- If a parent/guardian is dropping a student-athlete off for practice, the parent/guardian must remain on campus in their vehicle until the student-athlete has passed their daily screening.
- If you, a coach, or someone from your family is ill, please reference the 'Health Monitoring' tab on the Reopening 2020-21 page and accompanying 'Exclusion From/Return to School' form for more details and protocols. -In conjunction with OCHS’s reopening plan on returning to school, you must follow these steps to return to sport practices.
Originally enforced summer 2020; will be used in the event of potential future closures:
- PHASE ONE: The team will be broken into groups or pods of no more than 10 student- athletes. These groups will remain constant for the next two weeks. During this period, the students would be permitted to participate in non-contact workouts within their small group/pod. Conditioning practices would be broken into groups of 10, with a coach in charge of each group. All social distancing practices would be in place and enforced.
- PHASE TWO: After 14 days of small groups (10 or less) and a community transmission rate of lower than 5% and indication that it is not rising, the teams of 10 can be merged into groups of no more than 50 student-athletes who can now practice together as a group. Social distancing would be maintained at all other times as noted above.
- PHASE THREE: After the four-week period is complete and the transmission rate in the wider community continues to decline, teams may then combine to the total group for full practices and competition. Social distancing protocols should remain in place at all other times as noted above.
Oakland Catholic High School requires that its student-athletes assist in following these guidelines to help maintain a safe and healthy environment for all. Failure to adhere to these guidelines provided by the Athletic Department could result in the inability to participate in interscholastic athletics.
- Student-Athletes are responsible for their own supplies and equipment for each practice/competition.
- Social distancing is in effect at all times except during competitions. During competitions, athletes must always have their masks/face coverings readily available.
- Mandatory PIAA pre-participation physical examinations must be submitted prior to the start of the fall sports season (August 17th for all Fall sports).
- Access the weight room and athletic training room is restricted to athletes whose sport is in season, according to the PIAA schedule. *Exceptions will be made for injuries or other emergencies.
- Lockers are not available for any student-athlete.
- Athletes are to avoid touching their faces as much as possible.
- Clothes should be washed daily. (No clothing is to be left in any athletic facility overnight. Items left will be discarded.)
- Athletes are not permitted to share towels, razors, clothes or personal hygiene items.
- Hands should be washed frequently and hand sanitizer used often, when available.
- Athletes are responsible for bringing a personal water bottle with name on it to allpractices and events. There will be no shareable water bottles available. Student-athletes who report without a water bottle will not be permitted to practice on that day.
- Student-athletes should arrive no earlier than 10 minutes prior to any practice.
- Athletes are to assist coaches, custodial, and medical staff in disinfecting all athleticequipment used during a workout.
- Athletes must comply with the daily health screenings outlined in this document.
- Coaches will clearly communicate all guidelines to the student-athletes and parents.
- Coaches will model the behavior they expect of student-athletes and practice socialdistancing at all times.
- Coaches will screen and monitor student-athletes for symptoms prior to the start of allgames and practices.
- Coaches will wear a protective mask as directed, per CDC guidelines. If a member of acoaching staff has a pre-existing medical condition and cannot wear a mask, they will need to submit a recent doctor’s note to the Athletic Director.
- It is recommended that coaching staffs create pods or groups for student-athletes toattend off-season workouts. These groups must be submitted to the Athletic Director inadvance in the event that contact tracing needs to be enacted.
- Coaches will submit a weekly schedule of coaches performing daily screening to theAthletic Director.
- Large team gatherings are to be done remotely via an electronic platform, for example,watching film.
- Coaches will be responsible for monitoring the number of student-athletes in thegymnasium during the season in order to promote social distancing guidelines. This may include limiting access to the building before or after events.
- Coaches will be asked to assist in the cleaning of all athletic equipment before, during, and after athletic practices, events, and workouts.
- Coaches are to wash and/or sanitize hands regularly while working.
- Maintain safety guidelines for yourself and others within your family unit.
- Monitor your daughter’s health prior to any sporting activities. If your daughter is sick,she should stay home. Even if there is doubt, she is to stay home.
- Communicate with the coaching staff if your daughter is at higher risk for severe illness,has a preexisting health condition, or is immunocompromised.
- Check your daughter’s temperature before every practice, competition and prior to herdeparture for school each day.
- Provide the necessary supplies for your daughter and label them with her name.
- Disinfect your daughter’s equipment after practice/competition. Be sure that she washesher clothes and mask daily.
- Bring appropriate masks/face coverings to practices/competitions for yourself, daughter,and family members if circumstances permit attendance. If/when attendance is possible, and you attend either practice or a competition without the appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment), you will not be permitted into our facilities and will run the risk of being turned away from other school or competition facilities.
ATHLETIC TRAINERS’ ACTIONS:
- Follow guidance from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association as it pertains to COVID- 19. This includes, but is not limited, to the following:
- Limit athlete and coach occupancy to the athletic training room to promote social distancing.
- Wear a mask at all times. If an athletic trainer has a pre-existing medical condition and cannot wear a mask, they will need a recent doctor’s note. When feasible, trainers must maintain recommended social distancing guidelines.
- Clean and disinfect all hard surfaces including, but not limited to, training tables, taping stations, doorknobs, and other equipment that is utilized in the daily operations of the athletic training facility.
- Do not permit unsupervised admittance to the athletic training room.
- Provide guidance to assist student-athletes on proper hand-washing techniques and other preventive behaviors.
COMPETITION AND TRAVEL CONSIDERATIONS:
- Competition and travel need to be considered and planned prior to the onset of the season.
- The Athletic Director will be in contact with each opponent’s administration prior to traveling to their facilities.
- There must be global agreement that all ill student-athletes will be held from participation, no matter the circumstances.
- Member schools must be willing to share information regarding potential cases of and exposures to COVID-19.
- Guidelines and policies of the host school must be strictly followed.
- Travel should be limited.
- Travel teams should be in place. It is recommended that coaches submit travel rosters tothe Athletic Director in advance of any competition.
- Social distancing should be maintained, including masking, at all times to the maximumextent possible.
- Preparations should be made for limited stops when en-route (pre-packaged meals) andemergency medical supplies should be carried to each competition/practice.
ATHLETIC EVENT ATTENDANCE:
- The Oakland Catholic High School administration will continue to monitor and evaluate circumstances as they relate to spectators attending high school athletic events. As stated below, the following people are grouped into tiers from essential to non-essential. This will determine who may attend an event until further guidance is received from state and local governments.
- Tier 1 (Essential) – Student-athletes, coaches, officials, event staff, medical staff, and administrators
- Tier 2 (Preferred) – Media and Collegiate coaches/scouts
- Tier 3 (Non-Essential) – Security and spectators
- Only Tier 1 & Tier 2 personnel will be allowed to attend events until state or local governments lift current restrictions of mass gatherings.
- If/When spectators are permitted, seating areas, including bleachers, will adhere to social distancing requirements of at least 6 feet of spacing between spectators who are not in the same household. To assist with this, areas will be clearly marked. Face coverings will be required in addition to social distancing, or until further directives are issued.
- Parents/guardians are not permitted to attend athletic team practices.
- Parents/guardians should arrive no more than 10 minutes prior to the scheduled end of the athletic event or practice for picking up their daughters. They should remain in theirvehicles to minimize contact and exposure. Student-Athletes will be dismissed to them.
- Special considerations will be made in the event that a student-athlete suffers an injury or medical emergency during the athletic practice or event. These considerations will be made on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of theathletic trainer, athletic director, and/or school nurse.