Athletic departments now across the county are working together to execute plans to protect the students from the COVID-19 virus.
“Virtually all of it is what we went through last year,” stated Jim Mauro who is the Athletic Director for Canisius High School.
Mauro mentions that he and his players were very much hoping that with increased vaccination rates, masks would be becoming optional.
“I think it’s a little disappointing,” he stated. “Unfortunately our numbers are trending in a different direction right now, and it doesn’t come as a complete shock.”
He states that Canisius had a meeting with the coaches and he stated the staff “prepare for mandates.”
Those mandates who are coming from the Erie County Department of Health include sports guidelines for high-risk sports like basketball, football, hockey, and field hockey.
The Erie County Department of Health needs:
- Wearing masks all times when players are not even directly involved in physical activity,
- Wearing masks all-time for coaches and trainers,
- 3ft of distance is mandatory when not engaged in physical activity,
The ECDOH encourages all the student-athletes to wear masks during play unless the student cannot go about with it due to some problems.
“I think it’s going to be a little harder for people who have gotten custom to not wearing a mask,” Mauro stated.
When it comes to vaccination, the ECDOH states if there is any COVID positive case on any team:
- Every unvaccinated player, coach, and staff must pause for ten days, at which time 10 vaccinated players can resume playing.
- If 2 or more players or coaches test COVID-19 positive during ten days, all team activities must pause for ten days.
- If a school goes to any virtual learning model, all team activities must pause.
“The coaches want to coach, the kids want to play, and I think everyone agrees that they’ll do what they have to do to make that happen,” Mauro stated.