2020 WOLL Safety Plan Addendum
COVID 19 Modifications
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented many complex challenges to the operation of academic and athletic institutions in Connecticut and around the world. As Watertown Oakville Little League (WOLL) seeks to uphold our standard of providing our athletes with exceptional experiences in the social, emotional, educational, and athletic settings we are challenged with many unknowns. Throughout this challenging time, WOLL has maintained that when the time is right, we will play again. As the governor begins to implement reopening phases for Connecticut, it’s appropriate to consider guidance for the safe return of baseball and softball. The guidance offered by WOLL is based on our core values and beliefs in accordance with state health guidelines, CIAC, and Little League International. Any participation in WOLL is considered voluntary. WOLL and its volunteers will always put physical, mental, and social-emotional well-being of our youth to safely re-engage in physical activity and athletic competition.
Returning to play does not mean a return to “normal”. While re-socializing to activity we are still responsible for doing our part in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Any consideration of returning to physical activity and athletic competition must adhere to all requirements set forth under the executive orders of Governor Lamont, account for the health and safety of all participants, and equitably provide opportunities for all athletes. We all must understand that COVID-19 is born out of a global health pandemic. This is a health issue, not a sport issue. Sports have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 and our athletes have been significantly affected. It is our primary responsibility to provide safe physical activity that does not contribute to the spread of COVID-19. Our decisions should also come from a mindset that there is still much to be learned about COVID-19 and multisystem inflammatory syndrome of COVID. According to the CDC, “We do not yet know what causes MIS-C. However, we know that many children with MIS-C had the virus that causes COVID-19, or had been around someone with COVID-19.” (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/children/mis-c.html) A safe return to activity requires a gradual phase-in approach that accounts for participant and community safety.
Deconditioning/Regression The sudden closure of school and recreational activities has left youth-athletes without structured physical activity since mid-March. A safe return to youth athletic experiences must account for the deconditioning which may have occurred during this prolonged departure from normal physical conditioning and skill development. Prolonged inactivity can result in decreased cardiovascular function, decreased pulmonary function, muscle atrophy, and skill regression. In addition, acclimation to the environment should be considered. The last time youth-athletes engaged in structured physical activity was during the cool weather month of March. Traditionally, youth-athletes progressively acclimate to physical activity in warmer weather over the months of April, May, and June. Returning to game play scenarios in August without a structured re-conditioning program could be dangerous for our young athletes.
For further information, please refer to (2020 NFHS Guidance for Opening up High School Athletics and Activities, 2020) Conditioning, Practice Sessions, and Contests CAS-CIAC guidelines for a resocialization of interscholastic athletics and activities programs align with guidance published by Governor Lamont’s Reopen CT committee on youth sports and the NFHS (NFHS phases are in accordance with guidelines published by the White House and CDC available at https://www.whitehouse.gov/openingamerica/).
*******Summary of Adopted Modifications for all WOLL Baseball/Softball Activities*******
-At all times social distancing guidelines as dictated by the State of Connecticut will be followed. There will be no exceptions to these recommendations and it’s essential all spectators, coaches, umpires, and players follow. In the event individuals choose to not follow the guidelines, they will be asked to leave.
-Players must not participate if they have any symptoms of COVID-19 (temp 100. or greater, cough, respiratory symptoms) or have had known exposure to a person with COVID-19. All individuals are responsible for self-testing. If there is any doubt, stay home and contact your physician.
-Players must bring their own drinks/water and there can be NO SHARING. None will be provided. The concession stand will NOT be open.
-There will be no handshakes, spitting, gum, sunflower seeds, high fives or any other contact between players and coaches. We must all avoid respiratory droplet transfer.
-Coaches must wear facemasks at all times.
-Players are encouraged to use their own equipment (helmet, glove, bat). The league is working diligently regarding players without personal equipment. There can be no sharing of any equipment. Remember bats must be USA approved.
-Players will use the benches, bleachers and personal chairs on their side of the field so that they may practice social distancing when not on defense. There will be a coaching clinic to instruct on proper ways of maintaining 6 ft social distancing.
- Players waiting on offense/defense who are observing the game from their designated seat must wear a facemask. Players “in action” are NOT required to wear masks but may if they chose to. Players will bring their own masks.
-Players will use hand sanitizer prior to going on defense each inning. Hand sanitizer will be provided by the family of each child.
-Spectators will be seated and will practice social distancing. Its best practice to wear cloth facemasks at all times.
-Families should limit the number of spectators to immediate family.
-Game-use baseballs will be changed out every inning and sanitized. The defensive team will bring out their own ball to minimize contact. The coach should sanitize the ball when the team comes off the field from their defensive inning.
-Foul balls will be retrieved by players, coaches, or umpires. Spectators should not retrieve the ball to limit people contacting baseballs.
-Umpires will stand behind the pitcher’s mound, wear a face mask and practice social distancing from the players where possible. The umpires will perform their duties to the best of their abilities and there should be NO arguments between officials and coaches, players, or spectators.
-Bathrooms will be CLOSED. Sorry for the inconvenience but the WOLL coaches will not be able to sanitize to the state recommendations.
-Postgame gatherings should be avoided. Please be especially careful in the parking lots as it is advised to meet your children at your vehicle after the games. Please do not congregate in the parking lots.
**The modifications above are in part a summary of the following CDC guidelines below**
As some communities in the United States begin to convene youth camps, CDC offers the following suggestions for ways in which camp administrators can help protect campers, staff, and communities, and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Camp administrators can determine, in collaboration with state and local health officials, whether and how to implement these considerations, making adjustments to meet the unique needs and circumstances of the local community. Implementation should be guided by what is feasible, practical, acceptable, and tailored to the needs of each community. These suggestions are meant to supplement—not replace—any state, local, territorial, or tribal health and safety laws, rules, and regulations with which camps must comply.
After reviewing the suggestions listed on this page, camp administrators can use CDC’s Youth Programs and Camps Readiness and Planning Tool pdf icon[7 pages] to protect campers, staff and communities.
Guiding Principles to Keep in Mind
The more people a camper or staff member interacts with, and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread. The risk of COVID-19 spread increases in youth camp settings as follows:
- Lowest Risk: Small groups of campers stay together all day, each day. Campers remain at least 6 feet apart and do not share objects. Outdoor activities are prioritized. All campers are from the local geographic area (e.g., city, town, county, community).
- More Risk: Campers mix between groups but remain at least 6 feet apart and do not share objects. Outdoor activities are prioritized. All campers are from the local geographic area (e.g., community, town, city, or county).
- Even More Risk: Campers mix between groups and do not remain spaced apart. All campers are from the local geographic area (e.g., community, town, city, or county).
- Highest Risk: Campers mix between groups and do not remain spaced apart. All campers are not from the local geographic area (e.g., community, town, city, or county).
COVID-19 is mostly spread by respiratory droplets released when people talk, cough, or sneeze. It is thought that the virus may spread to hands from a contaminated surface and then to the nose or mouth, causing infection. Therefore, personal prevention practices (such as handwashing, staying home when sick) and environmental cleaning and disinfection are important principles that are covered in this document. Fortunately, there are a number of actions youth camp administrators can take to help lower the risk of COVID-19 exposure and spread during camp sessions and activities.
Promoting Behaviors that Reduce Spread
Camp administrators may consider implementing several strategies to encourage behaviors that reduce the spread of COVID-19.
- Staying Home when Appropriate
- Educate staff, campers, and their families about when they should stay home and when they can return to camp.
- Actively encourage employees and campers who are sick or have recently had a close contact with a person with COVID-19 to stay home. Develop policies that encourage sick employees to stay at home without fear of reprisal, and ensure employees are aware of these policies.
- Employees and campers should stay home if they have tested positive for or are showing COVID-19 symptoms.
- Employees who have recently had a close contact with a person with COVID-19 should also stay home and monitor their health.
- CDC’s criteria can help inform when employees should return to work:
- Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette
- Teach and reinforce handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and increase monitoring to ensure adherence among campers and staff.
- If soap and water are not readily available, hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol can be used (for staff and older children who can safely use hand sanitizer).
- Encourage staff and campers to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue. Used tissues should be thrown in the trash and hands washed immediately with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- If soap and water are not readily available, hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol can be used (for staff and older campers who can safely use hand sanitizer).
- Cloth Face Coverings
- Teach and reinforce the use of cloth face coverings. Face coverings may be challenging for campers (especially younger campers) to wear in all-day settings such as camp. Face coverings should be worn by staff and campers (particularly older campers) as feasible, and are most essential in times when physical distancing is difficult. Information should be provided to staff and campers on proper use, removal, and washing of cloth face coverings.
- Note: Cloth face coverings should not be placed on:
- Babies or children younger than 2 years old
- Anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious
- Anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cover without help
Cloth face coverings are meant to protect other people in case the wearer is unknowingly infected but does not have symptoms. Cloth face coverings are not surgical masks, respirators, or other medical personal protective equipment.
- Adequate Supplies
- Support healthy hygienepdf icon by providing supplies including soap, hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol (for staff and older campers who can safely use hand sanitizer), paper towels, tissues, disinfectant wipes, cloth face coverings (as feasible), and no-touch/foot pedal trash cans.
Maintaining Healthy Environments
Camp administrators may consider implementing several strategies to maintain healthy environments.
- Cleaning and Disinfection
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces (e.g., playground equipment, door handles, sink handles, drinking fountains) within the camp facility and in any shared transportation vehicles at least daily or between use as much as possible. Use of shared objects (e.g., art supplies, nap mats, toys, games) should be limited when possible, or cleaned between use.
- Develop a schedule for increased, routine cleaning and disinfection.
- If transport vehicles (e.g., buses) are used by the camp, drivers should practice all safety actions and protocols as indicated for other staff (e.g., hand hygiene, cloth face coverings). To clean and disinfect school buses or other transport vehicles, see guidance for bus transit.
- Ensure safe and correct use and storage of cleaners and disinfectantsexternal icon, including storing products securely away from children. Use products that meet EPA disinfection criteriaexternal icon.
- Cleaning products should not be used near children, and staff should ensure that there is adequate ventilation when using these products to prevent children or themselves from inhaling toxic fumes.
- Use gloves when removing garbage bags or handling and disposing of trash. Wash hands after removing gloves.
- Shared Objects
- Discourage sharing of items that are difficult to clean, sanitize, or disinfect.
- Keep each camper’s belongings separated from others’ and in individually labeled containers, cubbies, or areas.
- Ensure adequate supplies to minimize sharing of high-touch materials to the extent possible (e.g., assign art supplies or other equipment to a single camper), or limit use of supplies and equipment to one group of campers at a time and clean and disinfect between use.
- Avoid sharing electronic devices, toys, books, and other games or learning aids.
- Ensure ventilation systems operate properly and increase circulation of outdoor air as much as possible, for example by opening windows and doors. Do not open windows and doors if doing so poses a safety or health risk (e.g., risk of falling or triggering asthma symptoms) to campers using the facility.
- Water Systems
- To minimize the risk of Legionnaires’ disease and other diseases associated with water, take steps to ensure that all water systems and features (e.g., sink faucets, drinking fountains, showers, decorative fountains) are safe to use after a prolonged facility shutdown. Drinking fountains should be cleaned and sanitized, but encourage staff and campers to bring their own water to minimize use and touching of water fountains.
- Modified Layouts
- Space seating at least 6 feet apart.
- If nap times are scheduled, ensure that campers’ naptime mats are assigned to individual children, are sanitizedexternal icon before and after use, and spaced out as much as possible, ideally at least 6 feet apart. Place campers head-to-toe to ensure distance between their faces.
- Prioritize outdoor activities where social distancing can be maintained as much as possible.
- Create social distance between campers on school buses (e.g., seat children one child per row, skip rows) when possible.
- Physical Barriers and Guides
- Install physical barriers, such as sneeze guards and partitions, particularly in areas where it is difficult for individuals to remain at least 6 feet apart (e.g., reception desks).
- Provide physical guides, such as tape on floors or sidewalks and signs on walls, to ensure that staff and campers remain at least 6 feet apart in lines and at other times (e.g., guides for creating “one way routes” in hallways).
- Food Service
- Have campers bring their own meals as feasible, and eat in separate areas or with their smaller group, instead of in a communal dining hall or cafeteria. Ensure the safety of children with food allergiespdf icon.
- Use disposable food service items (utensils, dishes). If disposable items are not feasible or desirable, ensure that all non-disposable food service items are handled with gloves and washed with dish soap and hot water or in a dishwasher. Individuals should wash their hands after removing their gloves or after directly handling used food service items.
- If food is offered at any event, have pre-packaged boxes or bags for each attendee instead of a buffet or family-style meal. Avoid sharing of foods and utensils and ensure the safety of children with food allergies.pdf icon
Maintaining Healthy Operations
Camp administrators may consider implementing several strategies to maintain healthy operations.
- Protections for Staff and Campers who are at Higher Risk of Severe Illness from COVID-19
- Offer options for staff at higher risk for severe illness (including older adults and people of all ages with certain underlying medical conditions) that limit exposure risk (e.g., telework and modified job responsibilities).
- Offer options for campers at higher risk for severe illness that limit exposure risk (e.g., virtual learning opportunities).
- For staff and campers: Limit camp attendance to staff and campers who live in the local geographic area (e.g., community, city, town, or county) to reduce risk of spread from areas with higher levels of COVID-19.
- Put in place policies that protect the privacy of people at higher risk for severe illness regarding underlying medical conditions.
- Regulatory Awareness
- Be aware of local or state regulatory agency policies related to group gatherings to determine if events can be held.
- Identifying Small Groups and Keeping Them Together (Cohorting)
- Keep campers together in small groups with dedicated staff and make sure they remain with the same group throughout the day, every day.
- Limit mixing between groups if possible.
- Staggered Scheduling
- Stagger arrival and drop-off times or locations by cohort (group) or put in place other protocols to limit contact between cohorts and with other campers’ guardians as much as possible.
- When possible, use flexible worksites (e.g., telework) and flexible work hours (e.g., staggered shifts) to help establish policies and practices for social distancing (maintaining distance of approximately 6 feet) between employees and others, especially if social distancing is recommended by state and local health authorities.
- Gatherings, Visitors, and Field Trips
- Avoid group events, gatherings, or meetings where social distancing of at least 6 feet between people cannot be maintained. Limit group size to the extent possible.
- Limit any nonessential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving external groups or organizations as much as possible – especially with individuals not from the local geographic area (e.g., community, town, city, or county).
- Avoid activities and events such as field trips and special performances.
- Pursue options to convene sporting events and participation in sports activities in ways that minimize transmission of COVID-19 to players, families, coaches, and communities.
- Designated COVID-19 Point of Contact
- Designate a staff person (e.g., camp nurse or healthcare provider) to be responsible for responding to COVID-19 concerns. All camp staff and families should know who this person is and how to contact them.
- Communication Systems
- Put systems in place for:
- Leave (Time Off) Policies
- Implement flexible sick leave policies and practices that enable employees to stay home when they are sick, have been exposed, or caring for someone who is sick.
- Examine and revise policies for leave, telework, and employee compensation.
- Leave policies should be flexible and not punish people for taking time off, and should allow sick employees to stay home and away from co-workers. Leave policies should also account for employees who need to stay home with their children if there are school or childcare closures, or to care for sick family members.
- Develop policies for return-to-camp after COVID-19 illness. CDC’s criteria to discontinue home isolation and quarantine can inform these policies.
- Back-Up Staffing Plan
- Monitor absenteeism of campers and staff, cross-train staff, and create a roster of trained back-up staff.
- Staff Training
- Train staff on all safety protocols.
- Conduct training virtually or ensure that social distancing is maintained during training.
- Recognize Signs and Symptoms
- If feasible, conduct daily health checks (e.g., temperature screening and/or symptom checking) of staff and campers (if feasible) safely and respectfully, and in accordance with any applicable privacy laws and regulations.
- Sharing Facilities
- Encourage any organizations that share or use the camp facilities to also follow these considerations. and limit shared use, if feasible.
- Support Coping and Resilience
- Encourage employees and campers to take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories about COVID-19, including social media if they are feeling overwhelmed or distressed.
- Promote employees and campers eating healthy, exercising, getting sleep, and finding time to unwind.
- Encourage employees and campers to talk with people they trust about their concerns and how they are feeling.
- Consider posting signs for the national distress hotline: 1-800-985-5990, or text TalkWithUs to 66746
Preparing for When Someone Gets Sick
Camp administrators may consider implementing several strategies to prepare for when someone gets sick.
- Advise Sick Individuals of Home Isolation Criteria
- Isolate and Transport Those Who are Sick
- Make sure that staff and families know that they (staff) or their children (families) should not come to camp, and that they should notify camp officials (e.g., the designated COVID-19 point of contact) if they (staff) or their child (families) become sick with COVID-19 symptoms, test positive for COVID-19, or have been exposed to someone with symptoms or a confirmed or suspected case.
- Immediately separate staff and campers with COVID-19 symptoms (such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath) at camp. Individuals who are sick should be cared for following CDC guidance for caring for yourself or others who are sick.
- Work with camp administrators, nurses, and other healthcare providers to identify an isolation room or area to separate anyone who has COVID-19 symptoms or who has tested positive but does not have symptoms. If the camp has a nurse or other healthcare provider, they should use Standard and Transmission-Based Precautions when caring for sick people. See: What Healthcare Personnel Should Know About Caring for Patients with Confirmed or Possible COVID-19 Infection.
- If a person becomes sick and needs to be transported, establish procedures for safely transporting them. If you are calling an ambulance or bringing someone to a healthcare facility, try to call first to alert them that the person may have COVID-19.
- Clean and Disinfect
- Close off areas used by a sick person and do not use these areas until after cleaning and disinfecting them (for outdoor areas, this includes surfaces or shared objects in the area, if applicable).
- Wait at least 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting. If 24 hours is not feasible, wait as long as possible. Ensure safe and correct use and storage of cleaningexternal icon and disinfection products, including storing them securely away from children.
- Notify Health Officials and Close Contacts
Youth Programs and Camps Decision Tool
Public Health Considerations for Reopening Youth Programs and Camps During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The purpose of this tool is to assist directors or administrators in making (re)opening decisions regarding youth programs and camps during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important to check with state and local health officials and other partners to determine the most appropriate actions while adjusting to meet the unique needs and circumstances of the local community.
Should you consider opening?
- Will reopening be consistent with applicable state and local orders?
- Are you ready to protect children and employees at higher risk for severe illness?
- Are you able to screen children and employees upon arrival for symptoms and history of exposure?
Are recommended health and safety actions in place?
- Promote healthy hygiene practices such as hand washing and employees wearing a cloth face covering, as feasible
- Intensify cleaning, disinfection, and ventilation of facilities and transport vehicles/buses
- Encourage social distancing through increased spacing, small groups, and limited mixing between groups, and staggered scheduling, arrival, and drop off, if feasible
- Where feasible, adjust activities and procedures to limit sharing of items such as toys, belongings, supplies, and equipment
- Train all employees on health and safety protocols
Is ongoing monitoring in place?
- Develop and implement procedures to check for signs and symptoms in children and employees daily upon arrival, as feasible
- If feasible, implement enhanced screening for children and employees who have recently been present in areas of high transmission, including temperature checks and symptom monitoring
- Encourage anyone who is sick to stay home
- Plan for if children or employees get sick
- Regularly communicate and monitor developments with local authorities, employees, and families regarding cases, exposures, and updates to policies and procedures
- Monitor child and employee absences and have a pool of trained substitutes, and flexible leave policies and practices
- Be ready to consult with the local health authorities if there are cases in the facility or an increase in cases in the local area
This is an ongoing and adaptable summary of the initial steps to be taken and enforced starting July of the 2020 season and moving forward. The WOLL Executive Board will communicate regularly and will not hesitate to make further modifications to ensure the safety of our players and league. Our decisions will be evidence based. We hope the trending cases of COVID 19 continue to drop in Connecticut. We will always place the health and safety of our shared community as the first priority.
Let’s Play Ball!!
Erik P Lanese LAT/ATC
Holy Cross High School
Physical Therapy and Sports Med. Centers
WOLL Safety Officer
Fall 2021 COVID 19 Addendum
WOLL has made some minor adjustments to our COVID 19 response. We will continue to contact trace, require formal MD documentation, and make adjustments which are in the best interests of our kids safety and community safety. COVID 19 continues to be a part in all of our lives and we rely on parents being forthcoming with information no matter how minor it may seem. The Delta variant is the prevalent strain right now in the United States and the majority of our kids have not been approved for vaccinations. We will continue to use the CIAC as our guide in our path this fall. If a case should occur the coach will be the primary contact with parents. Coaches will communicate with the division representative which will circle in the President and Safety Coordinator. Following are applicable portions of the CIAC’s COVID19 recommendations.
This document is aligned with the most recent guidance from the Connecticut State Department of Public Health (DPH) and was reviewed by members of the CSMS Sports Medicine Committee. The CIAC emphasizes that this plan is fluid and in a perpetual state of evaluation. COVID health metrics and data in Connecticut will continue to be closely monitored and the appropriateness of holding youth sport and/or interscholastic athletic contests can change at any time. The CIAC will continue to consult with our stakeholders and will adjust offerings as appropriate should the health metrics direct that action. The CIAC’s rationale for these recommendations is based on its belief that maintaining a safe level of in-person instruction is the primary goal of our member schools and association. While prioritizing considerations that will sustain conditions for in-person learning, the CIAC strongly affirms that the value of structured physical activity is widely supported in research, especially in maintaining one’s physical, cognitive, social, emotional, and mental health. As such, the CIAC will provide the best sports experiences possible to its member schools. CIAC Fall Sports Categories As categorized by CT DPH sport guidance, fall CIAC sports include the frequent direct face-to-face direct contact sport of football; the intermittent direct contact sports of field hockey, soccer, and volleyball; the infrequent direct contact sport of cross country; and the no direct contact sports of golf and swimming. All fall CIAC sports are scheduled to start on time, play full regular seasons, and compete in CIAC state championship post-season play. Schools should make every effort to reschedule postponed games before the last date to count for CIAC tournament qualification. Football should work with the opposing school to reschedule postponed games to the two bye weeks in the football calendar. CIAC sports committees will evaluate the percentage of games played throughout the regular season and adjust tournament qualifications if necessary. Vaccination Joint Statement Issued by CT DPH (July 20, 2021): “The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH), the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC), and many youth sports organizations in our state are joining together in this message to encourage interscholastic Athletic Directors and other youth athletic team administrators to help all of their athletes 12 years and older stay on the field and in the classroom this fall by helping them get vaccinated. One strategy that is available right now for middle school and high school athletes that will help to ensure that they can have a healthy, safe, and uninterrupted fall sports season is getting vaccinated against COVID19. School Athletic Directors and club sports organizers are also encouraged to work with DPH and/or their local health departments to host and sponsor mobile or other vaccine clinics to get middle and high school students and their eligible family members vaccinated. Vaccination of all eligible athletes, coaches, and officials is currently the most important mitigation strategy we have available for preventing COVID-19 outbreaks on youth sports teams, and in the surrounding communities that support them. The more athletes, coaches, officials, and supporting family members who are vaccinated, the more likely interscholastic and other youth sports teams will be able to avoid repeated quarantines and testing of participants, to keep practicing and playing throughout the scheduled season, and to get back to a “new normal” for youth sports in our state. One major perk for getting vaccinated: individuals who are vaccinated do not need to quarantine if exposed to a COVID-19 case.
QUICK FACTS: • Everyone aged 12 and older is now eligible for vaccination. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019- ncov/vaccines/recommendations/adolescents.html
• The Pfizer vaccine is currently approved for youth aged 12 and older. It requires two shots, scheduled 3 weeks apart, which means athletes and coaches should get vaccinated now to be ready for the Fall sport season.
• COVID-19 vaccines are safe, very effective, readily available, and free! Find the vaccine location nearest to you: https://portal.ct.gov/vaccine-portal?language=en_US
• Remember: Fully vaccinated people do not have to quarantine or test after a known exposure to COVID-19, as long as they remain asymptomatic. For more information on COVID-19 vaccination, including how to schedule a clinic for your participants, please visit: https://portal.ct.gov/Vaccine-Portal or COVID19.DPH@ct.gov.” Masks Fall 2021 Interim recommendations for COVID-19 prevention in Connecticut’s PreK -12 schools were issued by the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) and CT DPH on July 25, 2021. In alignment with those recommendations, the CIAC policy will follow current Executive Order 13A, which provides that everyone must wear masks regardless of vaccination status while inside certain settings, such as schools, pursuant to an order from the commissioner of the Department of Public Health. Federal Order (CDC) requires mask use on public transportation, including school buses. The CIAC will continue to collaborate with the CSMS Sports Medicine Committee and the CT DPH on mask requirements as back-to-school recommendations are finalized by the CSDE.
Returning to play after COVID positive test: COVID 19 can affect the heart and lungs of the person infected. One uncommon but serious complication of COVID 19 is a heart condition called myocarditis. Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle (myocardium). Myocarditis can affect the heart muscle and the heart's electrical system, reducing the heart's ability to pump and causing rapid, abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias) which can cause cardiac arrest. Exercise can increase the likelihood of permanent heart damage in myocarditis and increase the possibility of arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. Student athletes who have tested positive for COVID 19 should follow the guideline noted below to decrease risk of developing complications from COVID 19 infection.
What to do if a participant had COVID-19 or has it during the season? In a covid19 positive child who is either asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic (100.4°F, short duration of myalgia, chills, and lethargy) should not exercise until they are cleared by a licensed medical provider. The licensed medical provider will perform a history with emphasis on cardiopulmonary symptoms and complete physical examination. If this evaluation was completed and no contraindications to participation were identified, no further testing is warranted.
The patient may then begin a gradual return to play after 10 days have passed from date of the positive test result and at least 24 hours without symptoms off-fever reducing medications. If the licensed medical provider identifies any new or concerning history or physical examination findings at this visit, appropriate further testing or consultation should be ordered and participation will not be allowed until that testing is completed and no contraindications to participation are identified.
Written documentation of medical clearance for return to sport should be provided by the medical provider.
Children with moderate symptoms of COVID-19 (≥4 days of fever >100.4°F, myalgia, chills, or lethargy or were in a hospital not an intensive care unit), should not exercise until they are cleared by a licensed medical provider. In addition to a history and complete physical exam appropriate additional testing should be ordered as determined by examination.
Consultation or referral to a cardiologist is recommended and they may request further, more extensive, testing. If cardiac evaluation is normal, gradual return to physical activity may be allowed after 10 days have passed from the date of the positive test result, and at least 10 days of symptom resolution has occurred off fever-reducing medicine. Written documentation of medical clearance for return to sport should be provided by the medical provider.
For patients with severe COVID-19 symptoms (ICU stay and/or on a ventilator) or multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), it is recommended they be restricted from exercise for a minimum of 3 months. The student athlete should be evaluated by a licensed medical provider for a history and complete physical examination. In addition, they should be referred to a cardiologist prior to resuming training or competition. In addition to the initial evaluation and work-up student athletes should have a coordinated evaluation at the time of returning to play for final clearance.
Written documentation of medical clearance for return to sport should be provided by the medical provider. A graduated return-to-play protocol can begin once an athlete has been cleared by a licensed medical provider (cardiologist for moderate to severe COVID-19 symptoms) and feels well when performing normal activities of daily living. The progression should be performed over the course of a 7-day minimum. Consideration for extending the progression should be given to student athletes who experienced moderate COVID-19 symptoms as outlined above. If the student athlete experiences any symptoms of chest pain, palpitations, syncope, shortness of breath or exercise intolerance, during this return to play protocol, they should stop exercise and inform their medical provider.
The following progression was adapted from Elliott N, et al, infographic, British Journal of Sports Medicine, 2020: Stage 1: Day 1 and Day 2 - (2 Days Minimum) - 15 minutes or less: Light activity (walking, jogging, stationary bike), intensity no greater than 70% of maximum heart rate. NO resistance training. Stage 2: Day 3 - (1 Day Minimum) - 30 minutes or less: Add simple movement activities (eg. running drills) - intensity no greater than 80% of maximum heart rate. Stage 3: Day 4 - (1 Day Minimum) - 45 minutes or less- Progress to more complex training - intensity no greater than 80% maximum heart rate. May add light resistance training. Stage 4: Day 5 and Day 6 - (2 Days Minimum) - 60 minutes -Normal training activity - intensity no greater than 80% maximum heart rate. Stage 5: Day 7 - Return to full activity/participation (i.e., - Contests/competitions). Spectator/Fan Attendance Allowance for regular season spectator/fan attendance should align with DECD sector rules. The CIAC supports the plans established by school districts that direct the presence of adults on campus at this time. Notwithstanding the above, permissible regular season spectator/fan attendance will be governed by local districts’ current operating plan. The CIAC will determine spectator/ fan attendance protocol for its state championship tournaments
Thank you for your help and understanding during these difficult times.
WOLL Fall 2021