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NYSED: Full-vaccination or cancelled high school sports in high-transmission communities

How should sports and other extracurricular activities be handled in areas where COVID-19 is spreading as schools reopen?

The state’s Department of Education released guidance on Thursday, providing some insight to how they think it should all unfold. That said, some are concerned about the way sports are being treated.

“Both the CDC and NYSED recognize that school-sponsored sports and extracurricular activities provide students with enrichment opportunities that can help them learn and achieve and support their social, emotional, and mental health,” the guidance read. “High-risk sports and extracurricular activities should be virtual or canceled in areas of high community transmission unless all participants are fully vaccinated.”

However, they noted that in areas of high transmission- sports and other extracurriculars should be cancelled or moved remotely.

Then, NYSPHSAA responded- that’s the state’s lead agency on public school athletics.

“We encourage our member schools to utilize this document and consult with local health departments as they plan for the 2021-22 fall interscholastic athletic season scheduled to begin on August 23rd,” the statement read. “NYSPHSAA will continue working with state officials to ensure student athletes have a safe and successful academic and athletic school year.”

The guidance noted that playing outdoors is safer when it comes to transmission of the virus, but when required to be near other athletes for an extended period, there is still a concern that the virus can spread.

Football, wrestling, volleyball, and hockey are considered high risk sports. Sports like golf, cross country, and soccer are considered less risky.