Knox County Schools issue guidelines for summer sports workouts

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – On Tuesday afternoon the guidelines that officially gave Knox County Schools the blueprints to resuming summer activities were sent to its member schools. A copy of the guidelines was shared with WATE-TV.

The guidelines are in line with the county’s second phase of reopening, which began on Tuesday and lasts through June 22nd, pending the Knox County Health Departments reevaluation on June 12th.

The guidelines state that prior to any summer workout, principals and athletic directors must review and educate their coaches on proper protocols and procedures expected to be followed during summer workouts as well as the symptoms of COVID-19. Coaches are then in turn expected to educate their student-athletes on the symptoms as well as new protocols established for summer workouts including the Five Core Actions.

Five Core Action:

  • Physical distancing of at least 6 feet when in public.
  • Wearing cloth face coverings when physical distancing cannot be consistently maintained.
  • Handwashing with soap and water or hand sanitizer if hands are not visibly soiled.
  • Cleaning surfaces with soap and water or disinfectant.
  • Staying home if you are sick or instructed to isolate/quarantine.

The KCS guidelines include screening all coaches and students for signs/symptoms before a workout.

Screening questions to be asked include:

  • Have you been in close contact with an individual with a confirmed case of COVID-19?
  • Are you experiencing cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat?
  • Have you had a fever in the last 48 hours?

Answering yes to any of these questions results in the player or coach not being able to participate or oversee workouts.

Limitations on gatherings include:

  • There must be a minimum distance of 6 feet between each individual at all times. If this is not possible indoors, then the maximum number of individuals in the room must be decreased until proper social distancing can occur.
  • It is recommended that face coverings are worn, especially if 6 feet of physical distancing cannot be consistently maintained.
  • Maximum of 50 people for a gathering at one time (including athletes, coaches, and spectators), observing physical distancing and mask wearing guidelines.
  • Appropriate social distancing will need to be maintained on sidelines and benches during practices. Consider using tape or paint as a guide for students and coaches.
  • No locker room use. Use of gyms and weight rooms ONLY.
  • No physical contact. You can do skill-based drills, conditioning and team-based practice. There should be no scrimmages or game-like scenarios.
  • Workouts should be conducted in smaller, distanced “groups” of students to limit exposure. In case someone develops an infection, it can be tracked easier.

Additionally, the sharing of equipment should be minimal, facilities equipped with hand sanitizer, athletic equipment frequently sanitized, and any equipment including weight benches, athletic pads, etc having exposed foam should be covered. Students are also not permitted to shower on campus, but are encouraged to shower and wash their workout clothes immediately upon returning home.

All students are expected to bring their own water bottle, with hydration stations being prohibited.

Phase 2 lasts until June 22nd when the TSSAA enters the dead period.

Phase 3 will be expected to commence on July 6th, pending the KCHD June 12th update. Guidelines for phase 3 will be issued after Knox County Health Department releases its Phase 3 re-opening guidance.

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