RETURN TO PLAY PLAN
Northern Lebanon Midget Football Association (NLMFA)
Return to Play Athletic Plan
This guidance is preliminary; as more public health information is available, the NLMFA Board may release further guidance which could impact the 2021 season. This guidance is for optional summer workouts/camp for the fall sport season. Participation in summer workouts will not negatively affect further participation during in-season activities. Should families choose to not have students participate in workouts, other activities which can be completed individually, will be made available by coaches.
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented athletics across the world with a myriad of challenges. The COVID-19 virus is a highly contagious illness that primarily attacks the upper respiratory system. The virus that causes COVID-19 can infect people of all ages. Research from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), among others, has found that while children do get infected by COVID-19, relatively few children with COVID-19 are hospitalized. However, some severe outcomes have been reported in children, and a child with a mild or even asymptomatic case of COVID-19 can spread the infection to others who may be far more vulnerable. While it is not possible to eliminate all risk of furthering the spread of COVID-19, the current science suggests there are many steps everyone can take to reduce the risks to players, volunteers, and their families.
NLMFA will take the necessary precautions and recommendations from the federal, state, and local governments, CDC, PA DOH, as well as the Northern Lebanon School District. NLMFA realizes the knowledge regarding COVID-19 is constantly changing as new information and treatments become available. These recommendations will be adjusted as needed as new information becomes available in order to decrease the risk of exposure for our volunteers, players, and spectators.
Recommendations for ALL LEVELS of players.
1. Athletes, coaches, and volunteers will complete a COVID- 19 health daily.
2. Promote healthy hygiene practices such as hand washing (20 seconds with warm water and soap). (Face coverings are recommended to help decrease potential exposure to COVID-19 respiratory droplets by an infected individual. Face coverings will not be used for athletes while practicing or competing.) Hand sanitizer will be available for team use as resources allow.
3. Intensify cleaning, disinfection, and ventilation in all facilities.
4. Encourage social distancing through increased spacing, small groups, and limited mixing between groups, if feasible.
5. Educate athletes, coaches, and volunteers on health and safety protocols.
6. Anyone who is sick must stay home.
7. Plan in place if a player or coach gets sick.
8. Regularly communicate and monitor developments with local authorities, employees, and families regarding cases, exposures, and updates to policies and procedures.
9. Athletes and coaches MUST provide their own water bottle for hydration. Water bottles must not be shared.
10. PPE (gloves, masks, eye protection) will be used as needed and situations warrant.
11. Provide information to volunteers and players so they can identify if they may be at a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 due to underlying medical conditions.(See - CDC “People Who are at a Higher Risk for Severe Illness”).
12. Concession stands or other food must adhere to the Guidance for Businesses in the Restaurant Industry.
LEVELS OF PARTICIPATION
Level 1 (PA State Red)
Team Activities: No in-person gatherings allowed, athletes and coaches may communicate via online meetings. Athletes may participate in individual home workouts including strength and conditioning.
● All school facilities remain closed as per PA State Guidelines.
● Athletes and coaches should abide by guidelines set forth by the local and state governments.
Level 2 (PA State Yellow or Green)
Team activities may include: team meetings, work-outs, practices, and games.
● All participants will need to sign an acknowledgement of the dangers of Covid-19
● Athletes, coaches, and volunteers will complete a daily COVID-19 health questionnaire.
● Responses to health questionnaire for each person should be recorded and stored so that there is a record of everyone present in case a player develops COVID-19
● Any person with positive symptoms reported should not be allowed to take part in workouts and should contact his or her primary care provider or other appropriate health-care professional. A clearance may be required to return to play.
Limitations on Gatherings:
● No gathering of more than (25 Yellow; 250 Green) individuals per group including coaches per practice area.
● Controlled non-contact practices only, modified game rules.
● Social Distancing should be applied during practice and gathering areas.
● Adequate cleaning schedules should be created and implemented for all athletic facilities, sheds, etc to mitigate any communicable disease
● Athletic facilities should be cleaned prior to arrival and post workouts and team gatherings, high touch areas should be cleaned more often.
● Players should refrain from sharing clothing/towels and should be washed after each practice, including pinnies.
● Athletic equipment that may be used by multiple individuals (balls, shields, tackling dummies, etc.) should be cleaned intermittently during practice and events as deemed necessary.
● Association provided hand sanitizer should be used periodically as resources allow.
POSITIVE CASES AND COACHES, STAFF, OR ATHLETES SHOWING COVID-19 SYMPTOMS
What are the signs and symptoms of COVID-19?
Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. The symptoms may range from mild to severe. Symptoms may include:
● Shortness of breath
● Or at least two of these symptoms: o Fever
o Muscle pain
o Sore throat
o New loss of taste and smell
o Gastrointestinal problems (nausea, diarrhea, vomiting)
o Sore throat
What to do if you are sick and experiencing Covid-19 symptoms?
● If you are sick with COVID-19 or think you are infected with the virus, STAY AT HOME. It is essential that you take steps to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home or community. If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, call your healthcare provider for medical advice.
● Notify NLMFA immediately (Board member, coach) o Within the first 24 hours the areas visited by the athlete/coach will be closed to clean and ventilated (if applicable)
o After 24 hours-area will be deep cleaned and disinfected (if applicable)
● It will be determined if others who may have been exposed (players, coaches, volunteers) need to be notified, isolated, and /or monitored for symptoms for 72 hours
● If a positive case of COVID-19 is diagnosed contact tracing will be implemented with the assistance of local health professionals and the CDC/PA DOH. Those exposed to an athlete/coach will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days.
● Athletes, coaches, and volunteers must have medical clearance from their physician or appropriate healthcare professional, determined to be non-contagious, fever free (without fever-reducing medicine), improvement in respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath), no vomiting or diarrhea.
What to do if a player or staff become ill with COVID-19 symptoms during practice, event, or during transportation to or from a practice/game/workout?
● Every effort will be made to isolate the ill individual from others, until the player or staff member can leave the school or event.
● Ill individual will be asked to contact their physician or appropriate healthcare professional for direction.
● Within the first 24 hours the areas visited by the athlete/coach will be closed to clean and ventilated (if applicable).
● After 24 hours the area will be deep cleaned and disinfected (if applicable)
● It will be determined if others who may have been exposed (players, coaches, volunteers) need to be notified, isolated, and /or monitored for symptoms for 72 hours.
Coaches, parents, players, and volunteers will be educated on the following (through the NLMFA website, meetings, emails, etc):
● COVID-19 signs and symptoms.
● Proper ways to limit exposure to COVID-19 (hand washing, cough in your elbow, disinfecting touched surfaces, social distancing, avoid touching eyes, nose, face and mouth, no spitting, gum chewing, etc.)
● No Handshakes/Celebrations (high fives, fist/elbow bumps, chest bumps, hugging), etc.
● The content of this “Return to Sport Guidelines Document”.
● Any pertinent COVID-19 information released by state/local governments.
● Athletes should remain with their assigned groups during each workout and during practices and games to limit the number of people they come in contact with.