CCS Winter Sports Athletes Start Practice Friday
Although a stay-at-home advisory from the city and the county that discourages high school athletics remains in place until January 23, Columbus City School Superintendent Talisa Dixon says student athletes can resume practices as early as this Friday, and be ready for competition by the time the advisory is scheduled to expire.
"We recognize Columbus Public Health is saying 'hey, we don't recommend you do this'. And we're saying that we believe we can do this safely, because there's a smaller number of students."
During the fall season, when COVID-19 numbers were lower in Central Ohio, there were 19 cases of COVID in students out of 1,500 athletes. About 1,000 students are signed up for winter sports.
Students will be required to sign a waiver before participating and there will be extensive safety protocols, including moving some sports into larger areas, cleaning spaces after every practice, providing hand sanitizers and requiring masks when students are not actively playing. Dixon says no family or spectators will be permitted at initial games, and the district is exploring possibilities to live stream competition.
Although many other districts suburban districts have already launched winter sports, Dixon says Columbus will reconsider competition if COVID-19 cases increase, or if the city and county extend the stay-at-home advisory.
More information on the guidelines that will be in place for students, coaches and spectators is available here.