The OSAA Executive Board met in a closed work session today to discuss the latest updates on the Coronavirus pandemic as it relates to OSAA member schools and the upcoming school year. At its meeting on July 1, 2020, the OSAA Executive Board discussed the following topics:
Swapping Fall and Spring Sports Seasons The concept of completely swapping the Fall and Spring Sports seasons continues to be a topic of discussion around the state, the country, and within the OSAA’s Contingency Groups. The Executive Board has discussed this concept previously and did so again today. At this time, the Executive Board is not interested in pursuing the concept of swapping the Fall and Spring sports seasons.
Governor Brown’s Face Coverings Requirement OSAA staff has been getting questions about Governor Brown’s face covering requirement which is in effect for all Oregon counties as of July 1 for indoor public spaces and how that relates to sports/activities participation. Per the Statewide Mask, Face Shield, Face Covering Guidance, masks, face shields or face coverings are not required when at an indoor space and engaged in an activity that makes wearing a mask, face shield or face covering not feasible, such as strenuous physical exercise, or performers singing or playing an instrument if at least six (6) feet of distance is maintained from others. Those not involved in strenuous physical exercise (coaches, athletes on the sidelines, etc.) should follow the Governor’s requirement.
Continued Pre-Screening Prior to Workouts and Recommended School Action Schools must continue to monitor athletes for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 prior to workouts. Emphasize to athletes and coaches not to attend workouts if they are ill. If an athlete or coach has a fever or other symptoms of COVID-19, they must be sent home. It is strongly recommended that they be tested for COVID-19 prior to returning to workouts. Any athlete testing positive for COVID-19 must not return to physical activity for at least two weeks AFTER symptoms have resolved AND must be cleared for participation by their primary care provider. The county health department should initiate contact tracing and recommend further testing and any need for quarantine. In the event that multiple athletes participating in workouts develop COVID-19, the OSAA SMAC highly recommends workouts in that activity be suspended for at least two weeks and that the school consults with the local health department to discuss timing and procedures prior to reinitiating workouts.
Summer Prohibition on Use of Football Protective Equipment The Executive Board took action to prohibit the use of football protective equipment for this summer. The use of football protective equipment is not allowed until official practices are able to begin this Fall. Official practices are currently scheduled to begin August 17 but that is subject to change based on directives from the state.
Home School Testing The State Board of Education recently approved a temporary rule change to extend the deadline for home school testing this year to November 1, 2020. However, families with students who participate in interscholastic activities and need to be tested annually to maintain eligibility may present alternative forms of evidence to demonstrate satisfactory progress (portfolio, collections of evidence). The August 15 deadline still applies to students establishing or maintaining eligibility. Please communicate this to your home school families.
Pre-Participation Physical Exam Requirement This requirement isn’t an OSAA policy, but rather included in state statute and cannot be modified by OSAA. Staff has remained in contact with ODE regarding issues for students in obtaining Pre- Participation Physical Exams due to the state of the medical industry. Language for a possible extension for students that have an exam set to expire for the 2020-21 school year may be addressed at the Legislature’s next special session. Students that haven’t had an exam before would still need to meet the requirement prior to participation. The OSAA will send an update to member schools if a change occurs. Remember that until that happens, the current requirement remains in place.
Board Policy – Concussion Management Voted to amend Board Policy – Concussion Management to align Association policy with revised state statutes regarding which qualified health care professionals are able to return athletes to participation following a concussion. The OSAA’s Concussion – Return to Participation Following a Concussion form has also been updated to reflect these changes.
The OSAA Executive Board will meet again virtually July 20-22 for its annual Summer Workshop. The Board remains committed to administering sports/activities this Fall, provided it can be done safely in accordance with guidance from our state educational and medical partners.