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NCDHHS Releases High School and Youth Sports Guidelines

RALEIGH – The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services published their guidelines for the possible resumption of high school and youth sports Friday afternoon.

Since Governor Roy Cooper has announced that the state is now in Phase 2, mass gatherings will be limited to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.

The NCDHHS recommended guidelines include:

** Close or mark off all common seating areas like dugouts and bleachers or other areas that promote individuals gathering in groups

** Clearly provide 6 feet floor markings on sidelines, waiting lines, and other areas where there may be a group of people.

** Designate and arrange specific equipment for use that is properly spaced at 6 feet apart.

** Consider workouts in groups/pods of individuals with the same group always working out together, including weight training, to limit exposure should someone become sick.

** Remind individuals not to shake hands, give high fives, or fist pumps before, during, or after the game or practice.

** Individuals should refrain from any unnecessary physical contact with others.

** Coaches, officials, and others should modify communication and avoid up close face to face communication.

** Schedule games to include adequate buffer times between games to allow athletes, coaches and staff to enter and exit the facility with limited interaction.

** Where possible, provide separate and clearly marked points of entry and exit for spectators.

** When sinks or showers are not 6 feet apart, consider limiting use to every other sink or shower so individuals can maintain social distancing while using.

** Provide readily available alcohol-based hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol).

** Personal training services and fitness coaching should practice social distancing to the extent possible. When these services require physical contact between coach and athlete, wash hands immediately prior to and following the contact and face-to-face contact should be minimal.

The guidelines “strongly recommend” athletes, coaches, staff, and participants wear a cloth face covering when not directly engaged in physical activity.

Other guidelines deal with cleaning, hygiene, monitoring people for symptoms of coronavirus, protecting vulnerable populations, combating misinformation, and water and ventilation systems. The entire document can be viewed here.

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