The National Federation of State High School Sports Associations has new guidance for assessing the risk of high school sports during the pandemic.
The NFHS, which created the “high”, “moderate” and “low” risk categories, said Tuesday they’re moving away from those classifications. The Connecticut Department of Public Health, Governor Ned Lamont and the CIAC have used these risk classifications to determine which sports can or cannot play since the start of the pandemic.
Instead, the NFHS said, they encourage state agencies to look at five factors:
- COVID-19 rates of participants in any given sport are directly proportional to prevailing community disease rates.
- Participants in non-contact sports show lower rates of COVID-19 than contact sports.
- Participants in outdoor sports show lower rates of COVID-19 than indoor sports.
- Face mask use while participating in indoor sports results in COVID-19 rates comparable to the rates found in outdoor sports. 2
- The great majority of sports-related spread of COVID-19 does not appear to occur during sports participation, but from social contact. Maximizing efforts to prevent this type of spread remains paramount. Social distancing, mask use, staying home while ill and proper hygiene must continue to be emphasized in the locker room, on the sidelines, and while traveling, dining and interacting in the community.
The CIAC said in a statement that they will meet with its Sports Medicine Advisory Committee to review the latest guidance. Executive Director Glenn Lungarini said he has been in contact with DPH and the governor’s office and will meet to discuss the revisions.