ODH order extension could impact fall sports

Coronavirus

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) — The Ohio Department of Health extended an order over the weekend, possibly impacting fall sports.

All fall sports were allowed to begin practice Saturday, August 1 but the order will only allow intra-club and team scrimmages for contact sports.

Actual games are not permitted for contact sports unless every team involved complies with the requirements set forth by the state. These guidelines include:

  • Athletes and staff members must not exhibit any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 within the past 72 hours prior to competition or coming from outside the state, before arrival in Ohio.
  • They will also be tested for COVID-19 in advance and must show the results. If a competition lasts more than four days, a second test will be administered.
  • Athletes and staff must also have daily temperature checks and complete a daily COVID-19 questionnaire as long as the competition continues.

The following are considered contact sports per the ODH order: football, basketball, rugby, field hockey, soccer, lacrosse, wrestling, hockey, boxing, futsal and martial arts with opponents.

The OHSAA has responded to the extension. In a tweet Sunday night, the organization writes, “The OHSAA is working to confirm details with the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) within the ‘Contact Sports Defined’ section based on the order signed by the ODH on Saturday, August 1. As soon as those details are confirmed, the OHSAA will issue a memo to school administrators and then post it at OHSAA.org and @OHSAASports.”

It goes on to say “The OHSAA continues to work with the Governor’s Office and the ODH regarding our requested modifications for high school sports regarding safety protocols and spectators.”

A phone conference with state officials is planned for August 4 to further discuss the new rules and how exactly they would be implemented. It’s possible some changes could be made.

The order will be in effect until the State of Emergency declared by Governor DeWine no longer exists or until the Director of the Ohio Department of Health rescinds the order.

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