NEW LEXINGTON — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced on Tuesday, Aug. 18, that sports, including contact and non-contact athletics, are to move forward this fall. Some school districts across the county have been conducting practices preparing for this season.
All school districts in Perry County have been practicing for fall sports; both contact and non-contact.
“I am very excited for our student athletes getting the opportunity to compete,” Sheridan Athletic Director Lance Dupler told The Perry County Tribune. “Our athletes and coaches have worked extremely hard and are ready to start competing against other schools.”
The athletic director for Sheridan also said that the athletes are very excited to get back to competing i their perspective sports.
The governor’s office also stated that a health order, which was released on Aug. 20, would detail guidelines on how athletics should proceed this fall season. The order was signed by Ohio Department of Health Interim Director Lance Himes on Aug. 19 last week.
The purpose of the health order was established and it intended to adopt a balance between competing interest involving limiting the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and the benefits of sports and exercise for youth.
Districts are permitted to engage in practices and in competitions subject to school districts that fully comply with the provisions in the order. The order includes youth, collegiate, amateur, club and professional sports; collectively defined as “Sports” in the order.
Those who shall comply with the order include athletes, coaches, volunteers, staff, employees, venues, affiliated teams and schools and spectators. Defined as “Sports Participants,” they are also requested to comply with social distancing requirements.
In addition to the compliance with health orders and mandates, Sports and Sports Participants are also told to comply with any additional health rules regarding the prevention of COVID-19 from their governing authorities. Youth sports that are independent organizations should refer sport-specific health guidance for a particular sport from the Ohio High School Athletic Association for guidance.
The order also covers social distancing requirements for sports. In the order, social distancing mandates include maintaining at least six feet of distancing for both sports participants and spectators and when individuals are standing in line.
The mandates also include washing of hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as often as possible or using hand sanitizer. Individuals should also cover coughs and sneezes, regularly clean high contact surfaces and are not to shake hands.
Efforts to ensure compliance with social distancing in sporting events include designating six feet with signage, tape or by other means. Hand sanitizers and sanitizing products should be made available for sports participants.