2/3/21 Football Season Update
NFHS Revises Guidance on COVID-19 Transmission During High School Sports
Hello SDCFOA - We do not yet know if these new national guidelines will affect our current guidelines in CA but as our data improves the Governor may have another reason to reconsider and safely relax our current guidelines based upon specific sports sports being tied to "Tiers". - Steve
After evaluating experiences of schools participating in high school sports during the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) has revised its May 2020 guidance document with a new “Statement on Risk of COVID-19 During High School Sports.” (see link below). Highlighting the revised guidance is the elimination of the tiered “Potential Infection Risk by Sport” that placed sports in high-, medium- and low-risk categories. Instead, the SMAC suggests that state associations and other stakeholders consider five factors in assessing potential for COVID-19 transmission in high school sports:
1 - Prevailing community infection rates appear to be the strongest predictor for high school athletes being infected.
2 - Proven cases of direct COVID-19 transmission during athletics remain relatively rare.
3 - Participants in non-contact sports show lower rates of COVID-19 infection than those in contact sports, participants in outdoor sports show lower rates of infection than those in indoor sports, and using face masks for indoor sports results in similar COVID-19 transmission rates to those seen in outdoor sports.
4 - Transmission depends upon multiple factors that cannot be easily accounted for by simply dividing sports into three distinct categories of risk.
5 - The majority of sports-related spread of COVID-19 appears to occur from social contact, not during sports participation.