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HCS Athletic Covid-19 Letter to Parents June 15, 2020
First and foremost, we hope that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy.
We have received questions from the community about if and how COVID-19 will change this year’s athletic season. We know this outbreak has been stressful to many and recognize that exercising and participating in activities like sports can be a healthy way to cope with stress and connect with our school and our community.
After careful thought and weeks of planning, we are excited to let you know that we plan to resume high school sports while following CDC considerations, National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) recommendations, the South Carolina High School League (SCHSL) guidelines, South Carolina DHEC and the State of South Carolina guidelines to protect players, families, and our community.
Currently, there are three (3) PHASES for “RETURN TO PLAY” as implemented by the SCHSL. Each PHASE is a minimum of 14 days with successful completion of each PHASE a requirement prior to being permitted to move into the next PHASE.
The HCS ‘Return to Play’ plan will be initiated on Monday, June 22, 2020 with PHASE 1, beginning with high school football as they will initiate training with outdoor conditioning sessions June 22 – July 2. High school cheer may resume with virtual parent/student meetings and cheer routine instruction from June 22 – July 2. All other fall sports (Boys & Girls Cross Country, Girls Volleyball, Girls Golf, Girls Tennis, and Boys & Girls Swim) may continue with individual virtual conditioning/training workouts with their coach providing workouts and coaching tips through available media platforms from June 22 – July 2. After the successful completion of PHASE 1, all fall sports will resume/begin ‘in person’ conditioning/training sessions on July 6. The cheer selection process is scheduled to begin the week of July 6 with ‘in-person’ tryouts. Cheer tryout dates will be provided by each school.
The health and safety of our athletes, staff, and volunteers remain our highest priority. Below, you will find a summary of actions we are taking to help ensure we are lowering COVID-19 risk as much as possible while also allowing our athletes to begin preparations for the 2020 fall season and interscholastic play. We are:
- Ensuring initial readiness for conditioning training by requiring all athletes to have a PLANETHS account including:
Permission to Participate, Medical History, Current Physical (dated after April 1, 2020) and other necessary paperwork. NOTE: An ‘Assumption of Risk’ document is now required as well. All forms must be signed and on file with the school’s athletic director or athletic trainer prior to beginning conditioning workouts.
- Requiring daily Covid-19 symptom screenings for all staff and athletes; including temperature check and questionnaire completion.
- Requiring each staff and athlete to wear face masks or face coverings at all times during training sessions UNLESS involved in an athletic activity. Players may opt to wear mask or coverings during play if feasible and does not hinder breathing.
- Requiring all to conduct social distancing and to maintain a 6’ distance between individuals;
reducing physical closeness or contact between athletes and staff when possible.
- Requiring all to bring their own personal water bottle each day; filled and labeled.
- Requiring NO SHARING of equipment, clothing, cloths or water bottles/jugs between athletes and/or staff. Bring and use their own!
- Requiring groups/pods of 10 individuals or less at all times; remaining in same group/pod throughout each session during Phase 1. (Example: 1 coach and 9 athletes OR 2 coaches and 8 athletes)
- Promoting healthy hygiene practices during the workout session, away from practice and at home; using hand sanitizer at practice and games, encouraging all to cover coughs and sneezes and reminding them not to spit.
- Encouraging and implementing cleaning, disinfecting and proper sanitizing of equipment, balls and facilities as required.
- Parents and visitors are not permitted to be on the training facility field, court, etc. but may observe practice from their vehicle or a distant location.
Anyone who is sick or has been in contact with someone who has COVID-19— including players, family members, coaches, staff and spectators — must not attend practices or games. Be on the lookout for symptoms of COVID-19, which include fever, cough, or shortness of breath. Call your doctor if you think you or a family member is sick.
If someone does get sick during practice or at a game, we have plans in place to isolate and notify the parent(s) or emergency contact for pick-up to their home and/or to receive medical treatment at a health care facility. If you have a specific question about this plan or COVID-19, please contact the school’s athletic trainer or athletic staff member Billy Hurston for more information. You can also find more information about COVID-19 at www.cdc.gov.
We look forward to seeing you. Now, let’s get ready to play!
Thank you and stay healthy,
All athletes MUST have a new physical dated after April 1, 2020 in order to return to play. Last year’s physical will not suffice this year. Each athlete must also have a planet high school account updated with all forms and signatures.
Football is starting outside conditioning June 22. All other sports July 6th. All athletes must have a new physical signed by a doctor on April 1 or after. Temperatures will be taken daily and athletes will be in groups of 9 along with one coach during phase 1. More Information will be sent out soon!