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Hawks Fall Athletic Health & Safety Initiatives

Hawks Fall Athletic Health & Safety Initiatives

Hagerstown Community College Athletics supports initiatives from our administration, the NJCAA, Region XX, and the MDJUCO in addressing our top priority, the health and well-being of our student-athletes, in hopes of providing an opportunity to compete in a variety of sports at the collegiate level.This list provides information that addresses concerns for athletics as we enter the Fall semester.  The Athletic Director will meet with each team at the beginning of the semester to review the details under which participation in athletics will be conducted.  All HCC campus regulations pertaining to COVID-19 will be followed in the ARCC and at all athletic facilities.  This includes:

  1. The NCJAA has authorized several sports to compete this Fall 2020.  For HCC, the only team that will compete in the Fall 2020 is Cross Country.  Based on NJCAA regulations, all other sports at HCC are authorized to practice in the Fall 2020 and compete in the Spring 2021.
  2. Teams will be able to practice during the Fall semester on a limited basis.  Practice schedules will be distributed to the head coach for each sport.    
  3. HCC will be implementing a COVID-19 screening process.  Student-athletes will be required to show the results of this screening process prior to entering any athletic facility.  This will be checked by the Athletic staff and/or coaches.
  4. Student-athletes are expected to report directly to their practice area, remain in that practice area throughout practice, and to depart the facility upon completion of the practice session.  This will help the staff monitor the areas that need to be cleaned following a practice session.
  5. Student athletes should have a mask with them at all times on campus.  Student-athletes can remove the mask when physical activity is required during practice.  When not actively involved in a practice activity, please comply with mask wearing and social distancing protocols.
  6. Students need to come to the practice facility dressed and prepared to practice.  Locker Rooms will not be used unless absolutely necessary.
  7. Bring your own water bottle and towel.  Do not share water, water bottles or personal equipment with anyone.
  8. Breaks will be taken during practice to wash hands or sanitize as necessary.
  9. Competition during practice will be limited to reduce contact between players.
  10. The athletic facility will be cleaned after each use and on a daily basis. 
  11. Athletic Training services will be available.  Restrictions on accessibility to the Athletic Training Room will be in place to comply with social distancing protocols.  Scheduled times for treatments and pre-practice needs will be established.
  12. Teams that are travelling need to comply with campus restrictions from COVID-19 such as social distancing and mask wearing.  The Athletic Department will define how teams travel in order to keep our student-athletes safe.
  13. For any travelling teams, HCC is expected to provide a roster to the host school stating that each team member has been cleared to participate in competition for that date.
  14. Screening procedures will take place prior to the team's departure for competition.  No student-athlete is authorized to depart for or attend any competition without being screened by an HCC administrator prior to leaving campus.

We look forward to a healthy and safe Fall and are excited about the opportunities for development for our student-athletes as we look forward to the competitive seasons in the Spring.

 

The NJCAA Region 20 Health and Safety Committee compiled the following policies and best practice recommendations for member institutions to incorporate into their daily operations when athletic activity is allowed to resume in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. The information included in this document was compiled using guidance from the following public health organizations:

• CDC Considerations for Institutes of Higher Education
• CDC Considerations for Youth Sports
• American College Health Association Guidelines for Reopening IHE Campuses
• NCAA Sport Science Institute- Core Principles of Resocialization of Collegiate Sport
• Maryland Strong: Road Map to Recovery
• Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference – Sports Medicine/Athletic Training Task Force Recommendations for COVID-19
• Ohio Department of Health- Responsible Restart Ohio- Baseball, Softball, & Batting Cages

Please note, this document is not intended to serve as a guideline for when it is safe to return to sport. Each member institution must work with their college's administration, and in accordance with local and state public officials to determine when it is appropriate to return to campus and return to practice and competition. Member institutions should also develop a plan with their institution and government leadership to address when it is safe for spectators to resume watching competitions on your campus. This is intended to be a living document and should be revised as new information about COVID19 becomes available by public health organizations.

Member institutions agree to incorporate these general mandatory practices across all areas of consideration:
• State and Local Guidelines- member institutions must follow mandates from state/local/institution about the number of individuals allowed at an event at any given time
• Education- Develop education plans for athletic staff, coaches, and student-athletes regarding the new rules and procedures to be followed regarding COVID prevention strategies. A sample communicable diseases waiver for student-athletes is included in the appendix of this document. A sample communicable diseases waiver for student-athletes is included in the appendix of this document.
• Athletic Code of Conduct- include language explaining the role athletes and coaches play in incorporating these new policies and procedures. Athletes and coaches must be honest when reporting about their health status, as to not jeopardize the health of teammates, staff, and opponents.
• Pre & Post Game Decorum- Member institutions shall mandate no unnecessary physical contact rules with athletic teams/coaches/officials- refrain from fist bumps, handshakes, high fives etc.
• Availability of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Sanitizer & Cleaning Supplies- Yes operations, institutions shall ensure that PPE, hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies are readily available and there is a plan to clean the facility/equipment on a regular basis. Members agree to use an approved cleaner that is effective removing the virus on surfaces. Cleaning schedules should be shared with participating member institutions by August 15. Sanitizer and cleaners should be conspicuously placed in high touch areas, such as team benches, locker rooms, elevators, spectator benches, scorer's tables, athletic training rooms, etc, so frequent cleaning and handwashing can occur. Estimates of supply numbers are provided in the appendix of this document.
• Pre-Participation Symptoms Check- Pre-Participation Symptoms Check- member institutions must put measures in place to perform daily pre-participation symptoms checks for all student-athletes, coaches, staff, officials, bus drivers, event workers etc. If the individual demonstrates symptoms or has a temperature above 100.4 degrees, the individual needs to be cleared by a physician before they can resume participation. *Pre-Event Symptoms Checklist will be filled out prior to every practice/event on campus and sent with the team who is travelling to provide to the host institution (sample form in appendix). In the event the athletic trainer is not available prior to travel, a designated staff member can verify the form. The visiting team should show up arrive with forms completed so the host site can quickly review and sign off on upon arrival. If pre-event screening for the visiting team is required necessary, the traveling team should be required to arrive 1 ½ hours prior to the competition time.
The document is separated into sections that represent the major functional areas in athletic practices and competition. It also includes constituency groups, such as umpires/officials, event staff, and coaches:
Mandatory Implementation Recommended Best Practice
Venue • Travelling Prior to arrival at the athletic venue, the visiting team should be evaluated for a fever and/or COVID symptoms and confirmed to be asymptomatic by a verified school administrator or athletic trainer. Symptoms checklist should accompany the visiting team to provide to the host institution.
• The home institution will perform temperature and symptoms checks on student-athletes, coaches, officials and event staff upon arrival to the venue, unless provided beforehand by the visiting athletic trainer. Individuals with a fever of 100.4 and above and/or COVID symptoms will be precluded from working or participation in the event.
• Teams travel roster and bench size should be reduced to rostered players and coaches only, based on state and local guidelines of allowable group size. This can be revisited as we move into different recovery phases.
• Venues should be limited to one entrance/exit point to ensure proper sanitization. Elevator use is discouraged unless necessary- 2 occupants in elevator, buttons to be wiped down every 2 hours by facility workers
• Athletic Training room capacity will be restricted to the recommended CDC guidelines All ATR equipment will be wiped down thoroughly between use.
• Hand Sanitizer will be made available at the entrance of every room/gym/team bench
• Benches/Game equipment will be thoroughly cleaned before and after each competition. Teams are not allowed on the bench area until thoroughly cleaned. No switching of team benches (volleyball). Allow an extra 5 minutes between double headers to allow for thorough cleaning.
• Spectators should be limited by state/county regulations. Spectator seating should be marked off to keep fans 6 ft. apart. Check in/register at the Venue
• Athletes will remain in one seat throughout competition. Athletes will remain in their bench seats during half time.
• Every athlete should bring their own water bottle. Cleaner should be kept by the refill station in order to wipe down after each use
• Pregame coin toss should be limited to one member of each team with no contact between officials/teams. No huddles, no post-play hand shakes
• Sanitizing wipes/sprays or UV light cleaner should be kept on sideline in order to clean game balls at stoppages or when new game ball is brought in to play
• Athletes/Coaches who show symptoms during travel to another venue will be removed from play and isolated until they are able to return to home and proceed with quarantine guidelines
• The home team is required at least 48 hours prior to the contest to communicate with the visiting team regarding local/state/institution COVID guidelines/mandates on group size.
• If the visiting team requires on-site COVID screening, the visiting team shall arrive 1 ½ hours prior to game time. • Pre-Games symptom checks should be done by an Athletic Trainer.
• If Athletic Trainer is unavailable, checks should be done by an athletic administrator or coach
• If possible, athletes should dress /receive treatment at home campus in order to minimize locker room and athletic training room use
• Team benches should be spaced out if possible, to avoid contact with other athletes. Sneeze Guards should be considered at tables
• Public Safety/Security Guards should be at sporting events to ensure spectators are following guidelines
• If concessions are made available, food should be prepackaged- "grab and go style". Gloves and masks must be worn by staff member collecting money. Hand Sanitizer should be made available at concession stand. Vending machines should be wiped down by facilities every 2 hours
• Equipment storage areas should be wiped down weekly
• Teams should travel with "sanitization kits" consisting of wipes/sprays and disinfectant in order to ensure their safety if locker room use or post-play showers are necessary
• Uniforms should be washed after each competition by administrator or coach wearing gloves and mask
• Site host monitors team as they arrive to the venue
• Event Staff/ Coaches/ Spectators/ Athletes not in play should wear masks following state/county guidelines
• Sports that require personal game equipment i.e. lacrosse, baseball, softball should be sprayed with disinfectant/UV light after each competition by coach/administrator
Athletes • At least 6 ft. of social distancing is required until the government allows otherwise
• A mask must be worn when not actively participating in aerobic activity
• A waiver must be signed assuming risk of transmission of COVID-19 during participation of athletics –include in pre-participation physical packets
• A sign and symptoms assessment must be completed and signed by teams on game days
• There will be a "no touch rule" including refraining from high fives and team celebration – no team or coach handshakes pre or post-game
• No spitting, chewing or eating (unless needed for a medical condition) during athletics
• Hand sanitizer shall be present during any sponsored athletic activities
• Any athlete with a positive test shall remain away from the team and institution until fully cleared by a medical doctor
• Student-athletes must report a positive test to a coach, athletic trainer and/or administrator ASAP
• Athletes with a positive test must provide a clearance note by a medical doctor prior to returning
• If a student-athlete presents with a fever of 100.4 and/or symptoms of COVID19 they will be removed from practice/game and and clearance will be required by a physician before returning
• No sharing of towels, equipment, personal items • If three or more athletes on a single team had had a positive COVID-19 case that team shall work with its administration about continuing participation.
• Each athlete must have a pre-participation physical on file dated after 5/1/2020
• Any athlete who was hospitalized with a positive COVID test may only resume athletics after clearance from a physician
• Teammates should assist in monitoring their teammates and not allow them to participate in sporting activities if they exhibit any symptoms of COVID-19
• Mixing contact between teams is discouraged- for example, socializing, parties, tailgates etc.
• A signs and symptoms checklist should be completed daily for athletics
• Student-athletes clean their own gear on a regular basis
• Whenever possible, student-athletes should have a temperature check before they travel to an away competition
Coaches & Staff • Wear cloth face coverings indoors, and while in contact with people out of doors.
• Use required PPE in all situations involving bodily fluids, including blood, saliva, vomit, etc.
• No spitting, eating, or gum chewing on the field.
• No touch rule- coaches should avoid high fives, handshake lines, and other physical contact with athletes, coaches, opposing players, umpires/refs, and fans.
• Cleaning: Personal office space should be cleaned with appropriate cleaner upon arrival and departure.
• Equipment and personal items should have proper separation and should not be shared. If shared, proper sanitation should be applied between users.
• Have athletes wear face coverings while not actively participating in the field of play.
• Implement an appropriate sport-specific acclimatization period for each sport in the beginning on the season.
• Screening: Assist in implementing screening protocols as mandated by the institution's athletic department guidelines/Region XX guidelines.
• Travel: No sit down team meals. Meals should be acquired through contactless delivery, curbside pickup, or drive-thru. • Team Policy: Review student athlete expectations and team rules, to include duty to report expectation and potential consequences.

• Practice: Modify practice to enforce mandated social distancing.

Event Staff • Use required PPE in all situations involving bodily fluids, including blood, saliva, vomit, etc.
• No spitting, eating, or gum chewing on the field.
• No touch rule- coaches should avoid high fives, handshake lines, and other physical contact with athletes, coaches, opposing players, umpires/refs, and fans.
• Cleaning: Personal work space should be cleaned an appropriate cleaner upon arrival and departure. Any equipment and personal items should have proper separation and should not be shared. If shared, proper sanitation should be administered between users.
• Game Day Management:
o Reduce staff where applicable to maintain 6' or more of social distancing.
o Temperature checks as well as the signs and symptoms checklist must be done before staff can work the event • Game Broadcast- In the absence of in-person spectators and fans, institutions should consider live streaming competitions and events.
• Install sneeze shields/guards for scorers table
Outdoor Practice • Maintain 6' when possible (individual drills & team meetings)
• Wear PPE for team meetings and non-athletic staff
• Wash hands and apply hand sanitizer prior to practice
• Closed practices
• Regular cleaning of sports equipment
• One individual to replenish water. This individual would wear a mask, gloves, would be the only one allowed to refill water, and would be in charge of sanitizing jug after use
• Only designated individual to handle practice aids, such as cones, disks, etc.
• No unnecessary physical contact (hand slapping, fist bumping, etc.) • Limit practice to 30 individuals or based on the phase or recovery stage of each state/local recommendations
• Hand sanitize frequently and during breaks
• Order cloth masks for sports teams and clean regularly/daily
• Balls should be cleaned before and after practices.
• "Ball cleaner" –designated individual who could clean balls throughout practice and rotate them in
• Each athlete has own water bottle
• Each player has own equipment (i.e. pennies, gloves, bats, helmets, etc.)
• Limited use of shared equipment if unable to sanitize before the next user.
• Issue practice jerseys to be washed in-house after each practice
• No centralized hydration or refreshment stations
• No use of porta johns
• Locker rooms should not be used
Indoor Practice • Maintain 6' when possible (individual drills & team meetings)
• Wear PPE for team meetings and non-athletic staff
• Wash hands and apply hand sanitizer prior to practice
• Open external doors when possible
• Closed practices
• Regular cleaning of sports equipment
• One individual to replenish water. This individual would wear a mask, gloves, would be the only one allowed to refill water, and would be in charge of sanitizing jug after use
• Only designated individual to handle practice aids, such as cones, disks, volleyball nets, etc.
• No spitting, chewing, eating (unless needed for a medical condition)
• No unnecessary physical contact (hand slapping, fist bumping, etc.) • Limit practice to 20 individuals or based on the phase or recovery stage of each state/local recommendations
• Hand sanitize frequently and during breaks
• Order cloth masks for sports teams and clean regularly/daily
• Balls should be cleaned before and after practices.
• Ball cleaner –designated individual who could clean balls throughout practice and rotate them in
• Each athlete has own water bottle
• Each player has own equipment (i.e. pennies, gloves, bats, helmets, etc.)
• Limited use of shared equipment if unable to sanitize before the next user.
• Gym floor cleaned daily
• Issue practice jerseys to be washed in-house after each practice
• No centralized hydration or refreshment stations
• Locker rooms should not be used
Umpires/Officials • Do not report to institution if exhibiting signs and symptoms
• Thermal scan temperature upon arrival to venue
• Daily COVID s/s screening
• Wear face mask (as able)
• Maintain social distancing and avoid contact with players / coaches / staff on and off the field (as able)
• Hand sanitizer and wipes should be available at places that athletes/officials congregate
• No unnecessary touching i.e. high fives, handshakes, fist bumps.
• Disposable water bottles available to referees.
• Waiver/assumption of risk for officials to sign pre-season • Wear gloves or other PPE
• Regular handwashing or use of hand sanitizer
• Be prepared to provide backup personnel if official does not pass thermal scan or COVID screening
• Avoid bringing extra belongings as storage is limited
• Come to facility/event dressed and ready
Confirmed Cases
Should include: Athletes, Coaches, Officials, and Staff

(Confirmed by medical testing or physician)

• Immediately quarantine from athletics
• Immediately quarantine from school activities
• Must seek medical care if any of the following symptoms are present:
-Cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing, fever (100.4 or greater), chills, muscle pain, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell,
• For return to campus or athletics related activity athlete must have a clearance note from physician which includes date of clearance
• Staff member should follow up with athletes with confirmed cases daily
• Athletic department must maintain a list of confirmed cases
• Notify teams/officials and staff who have had direct contact with team of the presence of confirmed case.
• Home team athletic department must maintain a list of all coaches, players, officials and employees present at each event including contact information to allow for communication if exposure occurs
• Notify teams of competition of any positive cases even if they are cleared to return to play by a physician- guidance from health department. No identifying information of the infected individual can be provided to teams/coaches/admins (HIPAA compliance), just that a case was reported. • Test teams or athletics staff who come in contact with an athlete with confirmed Covid-19.
• Athletes must wait 10 days after resolve of symptoms to return to campus in addition to clearance note
• Work with local health department to identify potentially infected or exposed individuals to help facilitate effective contact tracing/ notifications.
• A contract tracing course is recommended for athletic medical personnel

Respectfully submitted by the members of the Region 20 Health and Safety Committee COVID19 Work Group:

Amber Kelso (AACC), Brooke Bowling (CSM), Carrie Steele (Montgomery), Erin Foley (Howard), Jennifer Smith (Butler), Katelyn Dillon (Carroll), Kristin Voigt (Montgomery), Leslie Wray (CCBC Dundalk), Lucas Taylor (Potomac State), Melissa Miller (CCBC Catonsville), Sarah Williams (CSM), Sue Brugh (Penn Highlands), Tarlouh Gasque (Montgomery), Tim Happel (Howard), Torey O'Donnell (CCAC).

Appendix:

Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Sports Medicine/Athletic Training Task Force Recommendations
PPE Stock Recommendations
These recommendations being made considering the possible needs of a University with approximately 400 Student Athletes. Although they do not know exactly what will be required, these recommendations came from an average of submissions from 4 of the universities polled in the PSAC. They will not know the exact numbers until they experience the clinical needs associated with treatment and athletic training room traffic beginning this fall.
- Disposable masks: 2000
- Eye protection: Face Shields 25-30, Goggles: 25-30
- Gloves: Sterile Procedure 200, Non-Sterile: 4500
- Disposable Gowns: 100 for Procedures
- Surface Disinfectant: 8 Gallons
- Shared equipment disinfectant: 8 Gallons
- Hand soap: 3 gallons
- Specialized hand soap (Hibicleans) 2 Gallons. Mandatory pre-practice hand washing for shared equipment sports, add 4 Gallons
- Hand Sanitizer: 50-8oz bottles for kits and daily use for practice, 8 gallons for refill, also appropriate number of hand sanitizing stations in facilities to be determined by university facility management.
- Laser, Ear, or forehead contact Thermometers should be used and cleaned after each student-athlete