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School System COVID-19 Guidelines for Student-Athletes



COVID-19 graphic (Courtesy of Pexels)

HAMPTON ROADS – Schools across Hampton Roads have been involved in more than 17 months of prudent decisions since the initial pandemic shutdown last year. These decisions determined how the various school districts in Hampton Roads should adapt in order to deal with the COVID-19 virus.

A new development has been the way the various public school districts of Hampton Roads monitor COVID-19 data with student athletes. While it is still unclear to what extent school athletics had an impact on the spread of the virus, school districts across the region have taken the necessary precautions to keep their students and teachers safe.

Below is a list of how different school districts are dealing with COVID-19 in their high school sports. This list will be updated with more districts and information as the school year progresses:

Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools:

In an October 1 newsletter, Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools (WJCC) released new information on the impact of COVID-19 on high school sports.

According to the bulletin, “48.7% of students identified as close contacts of exposure to COVID-19 at school are directly linked to participation in sports.”

The same bulletin indicates that 96 students were in shift due to school sport-related exposure to COVID-19.

As it stands: The WJCC does not currently require a COVID-19 vaccination for student-athletes. However, the school district strongly encourages anyone of age to get vaccinated for COVID-19 and participate in weekly drug tests.

Vaccination and constant use of face masks indoors are the best strategies to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep our health, health experts say.

York County Public Schools:
WYDaily has contacted the school district and is awaiting a response.

Chesapeake Public School District:
The Chesapeake Public School Board decided in late September to require student-athletes to be tested weekly for COVID-19 if they have not been vaccinated.

Testing for these schools begins the week of November 8 and will be performed by an independent supplier.

Student-athletes who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 must submit proof of vaccination to their school health advisor to be exempt from testing.

Student-athletes who are NOT fully vaccinated will be required to submit a consent form for weekly testing.

Franklin City Public Schools:
The Franklin City School Board voted in a meeting on September 16 to require COVID-19 testing for all unvaccinated student-athletes.

Portsmouth Public Schools:
According to an Oct. 7 school board meeting, the school is considering a requirement for covid-19, or weekly testing for COVID-19 as other school districts in the area have already decided to move forward.

The school district has yet to come to a conclusive vote on where they will go, but they will be monitoring the situation in the coming weeks as discussions continue.

Suffolk City Schools:

The Suffolk School Board voted on September 9 to approve the requirement for all students participating in high school and college sports to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 12.

If student-athletes are not fully immunized by the November 12 deadline, then they will need to submit a weekly negative PCR test to their school nurse.

Virginia Beach City Public Schools:
Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) announced on September 28 that all high school students participating in Virginia High School League (VHSL) winter activities or athletic conditioning that require a physical exam to participate must show proof. vaccination or undergo weekly tests. for the duration of their participation.

The test is scheduled for November 8 and will be provided by VBCPS at no cost to families.

WYDaily will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.

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