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SC High School League issues recommendations, but few requirements for sports amid COVID-19

Published: Aug. 13, 2021 at 5:21 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 13, 2021 at 4:14 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The South Carolina High School League has a list of recommendations to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, but says many of the health and safety protocols will be regulated by individual schools.

The organization is advising schools to follow guidelines from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and area health agencies when quarantining and contact tracing athletes.

It also advises coaches to consider keeping position groups or smaller groups of players who can work together in pods during practices to make contact tracing easier and reduce the number of people who would be required to quarantine if someone tests positive for COVID-19.

Assistant Commissioner Danny Brooks said this is an attempt to avoid canceling games even when select players are under quarantine. But he says they understand cancellations will happen this year.

The SCHSL did not provide regulations on the number of fans allowed at games or face mask requirements.

SCHSL officials say school systems and administrators are in charge of determining the safest way to travel and keep players physically distanced when riding buses, in locker rooms and while practicing.

Charleston County School District’s first-ever Football Jamboree was canceled just days before it was set to begin Friday night at Wando’s District Two stadium. The cancellation came after five participating teams were forced to withdraw because of COVID-19 precautions.

The Charleston County School District says school staff are not taking temperatures of players and coaches before practices or games. The SCHSL does not have any requirements for temperature checks, either.

They also are not regulating the number of fans allowed at games or enforcing mask requirements this sports season.

CCSD spokesperson Andy Pruitt says they recognize this is a challenging time, especially for athletics.

“We encourage everyone to follow the advice and recommendations of health and medical experts and take the necessary precautions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19,” he said. “It is up to all of us if we are going to have high school sports this fall.”

Public school starts next week across the Lowcountry and the first high school football games will begin the following week.

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