The New York State Public High School Athletic Association COVID-19 Task Force on Friday released summer guidance to assist state schools if they host on-campus workouts.
“The NYSPHSAA COVID19 Task Force is recommending that schools utilize and rely upon guidance provided by the National Federation of State High School Associations,” a release stated. “If school districts are interested in hosting off-season conditioning workouts and programs on their school grounds, the NYSPHSAA COVID-19 Task Force recommends the school begin the NFHS three-phase process when the following criteria have been met: 1. School enters Phase 4 of the NY Forward reopening plan. 2. School district permits campus facilities to open to students and faculty. 3. New York State recommended social distancing and safety protocols can be implemented in a safe and appropriate manner.
“Each of the three Phases contain specific criteria and all are supported by the NYSPHSAA COVID-19 Task Force. Each of the Phases should last two weeks. Schools should consult with the school medical director and the local health director when moving between phases. Phases are in accordance with guidelines published by the White House and CDC.”
The guidelines include a section on levels of conditioning, stating, “Since students have been separated from their normal training facilities and workout routines for the past several months, they will return to athletics with a variety of conditioning levels. It is recommended conditioning between the athlete and coach occur to ensure any training is developmentally appropriate. Training programs should include a phased reintroduction of physical activity. Since summer typically has significantly higher temperatures, a proper heat acclimation program with a focus on hydration is essential for the safety of athletes. It is important the sharing of bottles and water sources be avoided.”
The guidelines include sections on Face Coverings, Stay Home When Appropriate, Before A Workout, During a Workout, Following a Workout, and Preparing For When Someone Gets Sick. More details can be found on the NYSPHSAA website.
“The purpose of the document is to provide basic guidance for school districts permitting off season conditioning workouts on their school grounds,” NYSPHSAA executive director and Task Force member Robert Zayas said in a statement. “This document should be used in concert with local plans and directives from local and state health departments. This information is subject to change based on guidance from the NYSDOH, NYSED and Gov. Cuomo, and should not be considered a substitute for individual judgment or independent professional advice. School districts utilizing this information are encouraged to seek and obtain advice from licensed healthcare professionals responsible for the health and safety of their programs (i.e. athletic trainer, team physician , school medical doctor, school nurse, etc.).”
Section II has schools located in both the Capital District Region and the Mohawk Valley Region, which entered Phase 3 of the governor’s four-phase plan Friday. The Capital District Region remains in Phase 2.