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MSHSAA’s fall guidelines include screenings, limits on gatherings, and social distancing

COLUMBIA, Mo (KMIZ)

The Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) released its COVID-19 guidelines for fall sports on Thursday.

High school activities will still go on, as planned, this year, with practices beginning on August 10 and the seasons starting on August 28.

MSHSAA's report said it acknowledges the risks that come with playing sports during this pandemic, but also sees the value in getting them restarted.

MSHSAA suggests that each school appoints a "point-person" to keep track of constantly changing information and work on implementing "risk mitigation strategies."

The association recommended a long list of precautions to teams around Missouri.

As for practices, schools need to confirm what the allowable group size and social distancing guidelines are for group gatherings, as well as taking their own precautions.

Schools are asked to gather in smaller groups throughout practice, including staggered water breaks and social distancing during workouts.

MSHSAA said schools should try to appoint one person to be responsible for enforcing screening and dealing with positive case protocol.

Temperatures of both players and coaches should be checked before practices, either at home or at the school. If someone's temperature is 100.4 or greater, necessary precautions should be taken to distance them from the group.

Any positive finds on the COVID-19 screening will result in a coach or a player getting sent home immediately. The symptoms they watch for include:

  • Fever (greater than 100.4)
  • Cough (new or worsening)
  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
  • Sore throat (different form seasonal allergies)
  • New loss of smell or taste
  • Vomiting or diarrhea

As usual, a player or coach can only return with the documentation of a negative test of after a 14-day quarantine.

However, if the test does come back positive MSHSAA said the first things schools should do is contact the local public health authority and then notify any person who could have been exposed.

Those who could have been exposed can not practice or be around activities for 14 days of quarantine. There may be exceptions if activities were done with extreme social distancing.

Much like everywhere MSHSAA recommended that schools follow the CDC guidelines on cleaning throughout athletic facilities.

All surfaces, including weights, chairs, door handles, and more should be wiped down before practices start.

As for when teams and families finally get to game time, well, there are still a long list of recommendations there, as well.

Social distancing is encouraged at every event.

Schools can group people into tiers, from essential to non-essential, and decide which tiers will be allowed in the events if local health officials have guidelines and restrictions on group sizes.

MSHSAA also said that participants, coaches, officials, event staff, medical staff, and the media will be allowed into every game.

Overall, the association encourages participants and coaches to practice good hygiene and social distancing, even outside of practices and games.

Coronavirus / High School Sports / Top Stories
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Nathalie Jones

Nathalie reports on both news and sports for ABC17. She started working at the station in June 2020.

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