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Youth and adult sports guidelines in St. Louis County

Social distancing will be required and 6 feet distance must be applied at all times

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — As St. Louis County continues reopening, it's now a little more clear what that'll look like as far as sports go.

Sports activities will look different this summer for kids and adults due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Social distancing will be required and 6 feet distance must be applied at all times. The guidelines for youth sports and adult sports are different. 

High-frequency contact youth sports are not permitted: baseball, basketball, bodybuilding, boxing, bowling, cheerleading, crew/rowing, dance team, fencing, floor hockey, field hockey, gymnastics, tackle/flag/touch football, ice hockey, lacrosse, martial arts, racquetball, rugby, soccer, softball, handball, ultimate frisbee, volleyball, water polo, wrestling.

And for adults, there will be no league tournaments or other organized events permitted. 

Below are the guidelines from St. Louis County's website

Youth sports guidelines

At this time youth sports activities are generally not permitted if these activities involve more than 10 people (including coaches) in a single space. If a team with more than 10 members can be divided among different spaces, do not mix the participants during practice. 

  • Given the large scale of ice rinks, soccer fields, baseball fields and other large outdoor fields, up to 34 players are allowed on the field or ice at one time. Players should be separated into groups as much as possible and maintain 6 feet distance at all times. All other requirements of other sports activities apply.
  • Athletes, coaches, officials, referees, and umpires shall undergo a health screening and temperature check prior to starting any sports activity.
  • Screening times and practice or competition start times must be spaced out to limit overlap or intermingling of athletes coming and going.
  • Hand hygiene is essential. Organizations and facilities shall promote frequent and effective hand hygiene by supplying ample hand sanitizer (>60% alcohol) dispensers and hand-washing stations stocked with soap and water.
  • The use of locker rooms is not recommended. If they must be used, proper social distancing must apply within the locker room (i.e. only every 3rd locker used, etc.). Proper area for equipment storage and cleaning is recommended.
  • No unnecessary individuals (managers, extra coaches, non-participating athletes, etc.) shall be present at events.
  • There shall be no spectators allowed at any workouts or practices. Parents shall remain in a separate area. No congregating shall be allowed in the parking lot or fields. A drop-off line for practices is recommended to avoid unnecessary exposure.
  • Do not share water bottles. An individual athlete may use their own water bottle, which should be clearly marked with their name. Cups used for water should be single-use and disposable.
  • Coolers must be properly sanitized after each use, and each team or group shall have its own cooler. Follow CDC guidance for cleaning and disinfecting coolers.
  • Ice towels shall be used only once, then discarded or washed properly.
  • Avoid whirlpools or cold/hot tubs. If they are required in an emergency, follow best practices.
    • Have a cold water immersion tub on-site or within 5 minutes of the field.
    • Have ice towels ready on the field for cooling during breaks and for covering the head in the event that an athlete has an exertional heatstroke and needs to be immersed. CDC guidance for cleaning and disinfecting should be followed.
  • Avoid team huddles.
  • Avoid handshakes, fist bumps, or other unnecessary physical contact.
  • Coaches, officials, referees, and umpires must wear face masks when possible.
  • Any shared equipment must be disinfected with EPA certified products between each use.
  • Any jerseys used during these workouts must be washed daily and not shared among players.

Special considerations for athletes and coaches

  • Athletes and coaches should consider delaying their participation in sports and activities if they have any of the following conditions:
    • Diabetes
    • Chronic lung disease, including asthma
    • Severe obesity (BMI>40)
    • Chronic kidney disease
    • Heart conditions
    • Pregnancy
    • Immunocompromised (e.g. any transplant recipient, needing immunosuppressant medications (e.g. steroids, biologics, etc.), patients receiving chemotherapy, etc.)
    • Age greater than 60 years

Screening

  • Every coach and athlete must be screened when they enter the campus or facility where the sporting activity will occur. They should wear a face mask for the duration of the health screening if possible.
  • Designate a consistent person to provide healthcare screenings. This person must wear a face mask and gloves when screening others.
    • Screen each individual by asking if they have experienced any of the following symptoms within the past 24 hours:
    • Fever (temperature greater than 100.4)
    • New or worsening cough
    • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
    • Sore throat, different than your seasonal allergies
    • New loss of smell and/or taste
    • Diarrhea or vomiting
    • Ask if they have a household or close contact who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 2 weeks.
    • Check each person for fever using a thermometer. 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit and above is considered a fever.
  • If an athlete, coach, or official reports affirmative to any of the above COVID-19 screening questions or has a fever they shall be sent home immediately. If a child’s parent(s) is not present, escort them to a designated isolation room or area away from others and have them wear a mask. The athlete, coach, or official shall not be allowed back until they are symptom-free.
  • After the athlete, coach, or official is screened, they should receive an indicator that signifies that they have been screened (i.e. colored wrist band, sticker that changes daily, mark on hand) with the current date and initials of the screener. Athletes do not need to wear masks during play.
  • If the individual has health-related questions, they shall consult with their health care provider.
  • Individuals returning to sports after a COVID-19 diagnosis must consult with their medical provider and local public health department.

Permitted activities 

  • Sports with low contact frequency are permitted at this time for youth.
    • These include diving, extreme sports, rodeo, water skiing, adventure racing, bicycling, canoeing or kayaking, field events (high jump, pole vault, javelin, shot-put), golf, horseback riding, skating (ice, in-line, roller), skateboarding, weight lifting, windsurfing, surfing, badminton, golf, orienteering, fishing, riflery, rope jumping, running, sailing, scuba diving, swimming, table tennis, tennis, track.
  • At this time youth high-frequency of contact sports activities are not permitted.
    • These include baseball, basketball, bodybuilding, boxing, bowling, cheerleading, crew/rowing, dance team, fencing, floor hockey, field hockey, gymnastics, tackle/flag/touch football, ice hockey, lacrosse, martial arts, racquetball, rugby, soccer, softball, handball, ultimate frisbee, volleyball, water polo, wrestling.
    • While these high-frequency contact sports activities are not permitted at this time, socially distanced skill development or practices related to these sports is permitted if:
    • No more than 10 individuals, including coaches, are permitted in a single space. If a team is larger than 10 and can practice in different spaces (such as different halves of a field or court), do not mix the participants during practice.
    • Given the large scale of ice rinks, soccer fields, baseball fields and other large outdoor fields, up to 34 players are allowed on the field or ice at one time. Players should be separated into groups as much as possible and maintain 6 feet distance at all times. All other requirements of other sports activities apply.
    • 6-foot social distancing is required and must be applied at all times.
    • Equipment must not be touched by more than one player unless the equipment is sanitized after each player’s use.

Adult sports guidelines

While adults may participate in practices and competitions, as described below, no league tournaments or other organized events are allowed at this time.

The information regarding SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing the COVID-19 illness, is changing rapidly. As a result, guidance given nationally and within our community is subject to change. 

The recommendations provided in the county's guidelines will be reviewed and updated based on new scientific information and local circumstances, including COVID-19 testing capacity and state and local health department recommendations.

  • Lowest risk: Performing skill-building drills or conditioning at home, alone or with family members.
  • Increasing risk: Team-based practice.
  • More risk: Within-team competition.
  • Even more risk: Full competition between teams from the same local geographic area
  • Highest risk: Full competition between teams from different geographic areas.

Requirements 

  • Social distancing is required and 6 feet distance must be applied at all times.
  • Athletes, coaches, officials, referees, and umpires shall undergo a health screening and temperature check prior to starting any sports activity.
  • Screening times and practice or competition start times must be spaced out to limit overlap or intermingling of athletes coming and going. Fields or courts must be clear before the next group of athletes practicing or competing on the field or court begins.
  • Hand hygiene is essential. Organizations and facilities shall promote frequent and effective hand hygiene by supplying ample hand sanitizer (>60% alcohol) dispensers and hand-washing stations stocked with soap and water.
  • The use of locker rooms is not recommended. If they must be used, proper social distancing must apply within the locker room (i.e. only every 3rd locker used, etc.). Proper area for equipment storage and cleaning is recommended.
  • No unnecessary individuals (managers, extra coaches, non-participating athletes, etc.) shall be present at events.
  • There shall be no spectators allowed at any workouts, practices or competitions. No congregating shall be allowed in the parking lot or fields.
  • Coolers must be properly sanitized after each use, and each team or group shall have its own cooler.
  • Follow CDC guidance for cleaning and disinfecting coolers.
  • Avoid team huddles.
  • Avoid handshakes, fist bumps, or other unnecessary physical contact.
  • Coaches, officials, referees, and umpires must wear face masks when possible.
  • Any shared equipment must be disinfected with EPA certified products between each use.

Special considerations for athletes and coaches

  • Athletes and coaches should consider delaying their participation in sports and activities if they have any of the following conditions:
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic lung disease, including asthma
  • Severe obesity (BMI>40)
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Heart conditions
  • Pregnancy
  • Immunocompromised (e.g. any transplant recipient, needing immunosuppressant medications (e.g. steroids, biologics, etc.), patients receiving chemotherapy, etc.)
  • Age greater than 60 years

Screening

  • Every coach and athlete must be screened when they enter the campus, field, court or facility where the sporting activity will occur.
  • Designate a consistent person to provide healthcare screenings. This person must wear a face mask and gloves when screening others.
    • Screen each individual by asking if they have experienced any of the following symptoms within the past 24 hours:
    • Fever (temperature greater than 100.4)
    • New or worsening cough
    • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
    • Sore throat, different than your seasonal allergies
    • New loss of smell and/or taste
    • Diarrhea or vomiting
    • Ask if they have a household or close contact who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 2 weeks.
    • Check each person for fever using a thermometer. 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit and above is considered a fever.
  • If an athlete, coach, or official reports affirmative to any of the above COVID-19 screening questions or has a fever they shall be sent home immediately. The athlete, coach, or official shall not be allowed back until they are symptom-free.

Permitted activities 

  • Sports with low contact frequency are permitted at this time for adults.
    • These include diving, extreme sports, rodeo, water skiing, adventure racing, bicycling, canoeing or kayaking, field events (high jump, pole vault, javelin, shot-put), golf, horseback riding, skating (ice, in-line, roller), skateboarding, weight lifting, windsurfing, surfing, badminton, golf, orienteering, fishing, riflery, rope jumping, running, sailing, scuba diving, swimming, table tennis, tennis, track.
  • At this time, sports with high contact frequency are permitted, if played by reducing the contact frequency with other participants as much as possible and with the understanding that the athletes are accepting the inherent risks in participating in high contact frequency sports where social distancing is not possible and there is physical contact with other athletes.
    • These include baseball, basketball, bodybuilding, boxing, bowling, cheerleading, crew/rowing, dance team, fencing, floor hockey, field hockey, gymnastics, tackle/flag/touch football, ice hockey, lacrosse, martial arts, racquetball, rugby, soccer, softball, handball, ultimate frisbee, volleyball, water polo, wrestling.
  • With these high-frequency contact sports activities, it is recommended that participants practice socially distancing related to these sports by:
    • Reducing the number of individuals to the minimum required to play the sport.
    • Maintain required 6-foot social distancing within huddles, benches, locker rooms, and other non-play related gatherings.
    • Equipment must not be touched by more than one player unless the equipment is sanitized after each player’s use.

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