sports

(Oct. 22, 2021) To promote the safe participation of students, coaches, officials and spectators, the Bayside Conference announced a set of new protocols for the upcoming winter 2021-2022 high school sports season.

“In an effort to assure a full season of high school winter sports and promote the health and safety of our student athletes, we support this decision by the Bayside Conference,” Dr. Dwayne Abt, Worcester County Public Schools’ Chief Safety & Human Relations Officer, who also oversees athletics, said after the announcement was put out.

The following safety protocols will go into effect at the onset of the winter high school sports season. All students participating in an interscholastic athletic activity that requires the removal of a face mask is subject to the following testing protocols:

• Surveillance Testing Program:

a. Unvaccinated students must be tested for covid-19 at a minimum of once every 14 calendar days.

b. Vaccinated students are encouraged, but not required, to participate in the above testing program.

However, if there is a positive case of covid-19 within the student’s cohort, he/she must be tested.

i. Student athletes who miss a scheduled test for covid-19 are ineligible to participate in practices or competition until the test has been taken and negative results are provided to the student’s school.

ii. Student athletes who test positive for covid-19 are ineligible to participate in practices or competition until the student completes the exclusion/quarantine requirement(s) set forth by the local school system.

Athletic coaches are also required to adhere to the Surveillance Testing Program above in addition to all covid-19 testing protocols established by the local school system.

Officials who wear a face mask while officiating do not need to complete routine testing or show proof of covid-19 vaccination. Officials who choose to officiate while not wearing a face mask will be required to participate in routine covid-19 testing or provide proof of vaccination.

To ensure spectator safety, indoor competition venues will be open at limited capacity that allows for appropriate physical distancing.

A limited number of spectator passes will be issued to a student athlete for his/her guests to attend home (four passes) and away (two passes) competitions held in indoor facilities.

Procedures for issuing passes will be established by the Bayside Conference member schools; pass holders are still subject to any entry fees. In addition, all spectators will be required to wear a face mask while in an indoor competition venue.

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