With most of the Beehive state moved to a yellow health risk status last Friday, school-sponsored team sports and activities will be returning soon.
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert issued an executive order that opens the door for this to happen. Activities are allowed to resume on May 26, and both school districts in Cache Valley on the Utah side are setting up guidelines to allow school-sponsored groups and teams.
The Utah High School Activities Association has not made any announcements since confirming the spring sports were canceled and no state championships would be held. Herbert made sure to clarify that his announcement was for youth or club sports and did not include UHSAA-sanctioned sports.
The Cache County School District recently sent out an email to parents with guidelines and plans to allow activities to happen starting on May 26. First, it stated school-sponsored groups or teams are only allowed to assemble at the school with a coach or adviser present.
Those with underlying medical conditions or considered high-risk are asked not to participate. To be more specific, those with lung disease, moderate to severe asthma, serious heart conditions, diabetes or kidney disease are asked to stay home.
Before each activity, those in attendance will be screened for the following symptoms: A fever of 100.4 or above, a cough, trouble breathing or shortness of breath, a sore throat, a sudden loss of taste or smell and muscle aches or pains. If anyone is sick or have any of the symptoms, they should not participate until they are symptom-free or cleared by a physician.
Participants will be required to bring their own water bottles and a supply of water or fluid. If water or a fluid is provided at the activity, it will be distributed in disposable water bottles or through no-contact with participant water bottles.
Locker rooms will be closed. Those attending events should transport their clothing and gear from home and make sure clothing is properly laundered. Some adjustments will be made in swimming pool locker rooms for showering and changing clothing.
Social distancing will be practiced when possible. The Cache County School District said parents should understand that many group or sports activities require close proximity or contact between participants. No loitering will be allowed after practices, scrimmages or games.
Parents and family members of participants are welcome to observe practices, scrimmages and games. However, the district encourages families to respect the same guidelines as the players in monitoring symptoms and to also social distance. Spectators should avoid congregating and limit their interactions with other spectators or players. Parents should not distribute food or drinks to other players.
In the email, the Cache County School District stated it is happy for students to be able to participate in team sports and activities, but the guidelines need to be followed by coaches, advisers, parents and students in order for the activities to continue. The top priority is the “health and safety of our students.”
Logan High School Athletic Director Jesse Parker said the Grizzlies will be starting on May 26. The Logan School District will be following UHSAA guidelines, said Shana Longhurst, the foundation executive director and district communications specialist.
“Coaches can begin working with their teams on May 26,” Longhurst said. “We are following the guidelines that we received.”