LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - The University interscholastic League has released updated guidelines for schools to follow when voluntary summer workouts resume on July 13.
Updates to the COVID-19 protocols already in place include a requirement of everyone on the site of the workouts to be required to wear a face covering when not working out. There are medical exceptions. Students will be allowed to use the locker rooms. Coaches can also allow for students to participate in drills that involve one or more students on offense against one or more students on defense. The UIL is also allowing for coaches to have workouts on July 20 and 21 now. Previously those dates were “periods of no activity”.
In an email sent to district administrators about the updated guidelines the UIL is still expecting to start fall sports on time as scheduled.
“At this time, UIL plans to begin fall competition seasons as scheduled on the UIL calendar,” the email stated. “The UIL will continue to work with state officials and monitor CDC and other federal guidance to determine any further modifications to this guidance.”
Below are the updated guidelines from the UIL:
Face Coverings- Executive Order GA-29
Executive Order GA-29, regarding face coverings, applies to all UIL activities effective July 3, 2020. This includes all 2020 summer activities and in-season activities for the 2020-2021 school year. As the public health situation changes, and/or if subsequent Executive Orders are issued by Governor Greg Abbott, these guidelines may be further modified.
- For the purposes of this document, masks and face coverings include non-medical grade disposable face masks, cloth face coverings (over the nose and mouth), or full-face shields to protect eyes, nose, and mouth. Face shields may be superior to cloth face coverings in many circumstances, given improved ability to see mouth movements and improved air circulation.
- All employees, parents, visitors and students ten years of age or older must wear face coverings or face shields upon entry to an area where UIL activities are being conducted and when not actively exercising, unless an exception listed below applies.
- The face coverings requirements do not apply to a school in a county that meets the requirements of paragraph 11 of Executive Order GA-29, unless the local school system chooses to implement these requirements locally. Even in these circumstances, the wearing of face coverings or face shields is strongly encouraged.
- Exceptions to the wearing of face coverings or face shields include:
- Any person with a medical condition or disability that prevents wearing a face covering;
- While a person is consuming food or drink;
- While the person is in a pool, lake, or similar body of water.
- When a congregating group of persons maintains at least 6 feet of social distancing; or
- Any other reason or circumstance indicated under Executive Order GA-29.
For the purposes of summer workouts, schools must require students, staff, and visitors to wear face coverings when entering and exiting facilities and practice areas, and when not actively exercising. Schools may, for example, allow students who are actively exercising to remove face coverings as long as they maintain at least six feet of distance from other students and staff who are not wearing face coverings. However, schools must require students and staff to wear face coverings as they get into positions that allow them to maintain safe distancing.
- School systems must require teachers and staff to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms before being allowed to participate in UIL activities each day. Symptoms are listed at the end of this document. The self-screening should include teachers and staff taking their own temperature. Teachers and staff must report to the school system if they themselves have COVID-19 symptoms or are lab-confirmed with COVID-19, and if so they must remain off campus until they meet the criteria for re-entry as noted below. Additionally, they must report to the school system if they have had close contact with an individual who is lab-confirmed with COVID-19, as defined at the end of this document, and if so must remain off campus until the 14-day incubation period has passed.
- Parents must ensure they do not send a student to participate in UIL activities if the student has COVID-19 symptoms (as listed in this document) or is lab-confirmed with COVID-19 until the below conditions for re-entry are met. School systems may consider screening students for COVID-19 as well. Screening is accomplished by asking questions by phone or other electronic methods and/or in person. The screening questions should also be asked of a student’s parent if that parent will be dropping off or picking up their student from inside areas where UIL activities are being conducted.
- Before visitors are allowed access to areas where UIL activities are being conducted, school systems must screen all visitors to determine if they themselves have COVID-19 symptoms (as listed in this document) or are lab-confirmed with COVID-19, and if so they must remain off-campus and away from areas where UIL activities are being conducted until they meet the criteria for re-entry as noted below. Additionally, school systems must screen to determine if visitors have had close contact with an individual who is lab-confirmed with COVID-19, and if so they must remain off-campus and away from areas where UIL activities are being conducted until the 14-day incubation period has passed. When practical, screening questions could be supplemented with temperature checks of adults.
- Schools are permitted to prevent any individual who fails the screening criteria from being admitted into school facilities or sites where UIL activities are being conducted until they meet the criteria for re-entry as described below. Any individual for whom screening cannot be confirmed should be presumed symptomatic until confirmed otherwise.
Identifying Possible COVID-19 Cases
- Schools must immediately separate any student who shows COVID-19 symptoms until the student can be picked up by a parent or guardian.
- Schools should clean the areas used by the individual who shows COVID-19 symptoms (student, teacher, or staff) as soon as is feasible.
- Students who report feeling feverish should be given an immediate temperature check to determine if they are symptomatic for COVID-19.
Required Actions if Individuals with Lab-Confirmed Cases Have Been in a School or in an Area Where UIL Activities Are being Conducted
- If an individual who has been in a school is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19, the school must notify its local health department, in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations, including confidentiality requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
- Schools must close off areas that are heavily used by the individual with the lab-confirmed case (student, teacher, or staff) until the non-porous surfaces in those areas can be disinfected, unless more than 3 days have already passed since that person was on campus.
- Consistent with school notification requirements for other communicable diseases, and consistent with legal confidentiality requirements, schools must notify all teachers, staff, and families of all students in a school if a lab-confirmed COVID-19 case is identified among students, teachers or staff who participate on any on campus activities.
The full UIL guidelines can be found here.