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Maine Principals’ Association releases winter high school sports guidelines

Published: Nov. 19, 2021 at 10:39 AM EST
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PORTLAND, Maine (WMTW) - The Maine Principals’ Association has released its guidance for the upcoming winter high school sports season.

The MPA said it worked with several groups to develop its recommendations but leaves it up to individual school districts to make the final decision on their protocols.

The guidelines include specific recommendations for the handling of positive COVID-19 cases among athletes, as well as quarantine procedures.

They are similar to what many school districts already have in place, including isolation being required for all positive cases. Close contacts of someone who tests positive must quarantine for 10 days unless they are vaccinated or are participating in pooled testing.

The MPA also strongly recommends that schools participate in pooled testing.

Close contacts of an individual with COVID-19 from school-based activities, who are participating in pooled testing, may continue to participate in class, school sports, school music, and all school-based activities even though they must quarantine outside of school activities.

Masks are strongly recommended for all students and staff, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, in indoor settings.

Other recommendations include athletes continuing to provide their own water jugs, limit hydration stations, limit post-game handshake, high fives, fist bumps before, during, and after the game and any return to play plan, after a positive case, should be gradual based on a plan developed by the athlete’s doctor.

The MPA said schools that use venues outside of their school must follow the restrictions put in place by the venue.

The MPA also said it will follow Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations for sponsored post-season play.

The MPA said school districts or leagues should consider developing their own guidelines to be followed in these areas:

  • Spectators / Capacity Limits
  • Concessions
  • Cheerleaders during a contest
  • Weight Rooms
  • Locker Rooms
  • Participation Against Schools with Different Policies
  • Masking During Competition
  • Mandatory Pooled Testing
  • Out-of-State Competition
  • Middle Level Activities
  • Factors that would allow athletes and officials to remove masks while competing.

Tap here to read the full guidance.

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