Is It Safe to Play Sports During a Pandemic?

Is It Safe to Play Sports During a Pandemic?
Posted on 09/16/2020
Is it Safe to Play Sports During a Pandemic?

Angela Baleztena, MS, LAT, ATC
Head Athletic Trainer, Douglas County High School


A big question on the minds of athletes, parents, and coaches is: should we have sports during the COVID-19 pandemic? Unfortunately, the answer is not a simple yes or no. The situation is complicated, and many factors go into the decision to have student-athletes participating in sports. Participation in sports is not without risk, and the COVID-19 virus is no exception. While it is impossible to eliminate the threat of any virus completely, every effort is being made to minimize virus spread within Douglas County School District Athletics. Although the information involving this virus changes often and rapidly, Douglas County School District Athletic Trainers are constantly implementing strategies to help keep athletes safe.

What Athletic Trainers are doing to help keep student-athletes safe:
  • More outdoor evaluations and rehab, limiting time in the athletic training room

  • Limit the number of athletes in the training room at any one time

  • Require masks and handwashing/hand sanitizer at entering and exit

  • Masks are worn by Athletic Trainers and student aides

  • Symptom screening for Athletic Trainers and student aides daily

  • Sanitize treatment areas and equipment after each use

Of course, reducing the risk of a virus is a team effort. There are some steps athletes and parents can take to help reduce the risk of contracting or spreading the virus.

What athletes can do to stay healthy:
  • Stay home if you have COVID-19 symptoms

  • Hand washing/sanitizing often

  • Do not share water bottles or equipment

  • Wash face masks, uniforms, and equipment after each use

  • Wear a mask whenever possible and safe

  • Isolate yourself when exposed to someone who has COVID-19

  • Exercise regularly, preferably outdoors

  • Support your immune system with:
    • Exercise, preferably outdoors

    • Restful sleep with no electronics

    • Nutrition

    • Limit fast food, processed foods, added sugars, and caffeine

    • Add more Vitamin C, Vitamin D3, Zinc, and water

As new information becomes available and data is presented showing the effectiveness of our mitigation strategies, our protocols are reassessed and adjusted to ensure we are providing the best care possible to our student-athletes, coaches, and spectators. DCSD Athletics is compliant with guidelines from several sources including but not limited to Douglas County School District (DCSD), Colorado Department of Education (CDE), Tri-County Health Department (TCHD), Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA), The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), and National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA).

While we cannot guarantee that our athletes won’t be affected by the COVID-19 virus, taking these steps will help in reducing the spread of the virus. Ultimately our goal as Athletic Trainers is to help keep athletes healthy so they can enjoy the sports they love!

For more information involving athletic participation and COVID-19, please contact your school’s Athletic Trainer or refer to the sources listed below.

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In compliance with Titles VI & VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, and Colorado law, the Douglas County School District RE-1 does not unlawfully discriminate against otherwise qualified students, employees, applicants for employment, or members of the public on the basis of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, religion, ancestry, or need for special education services. Discrimination against employees and applicants for employment based on age, genetic information, and conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth is also prohibited in accordance with state and/or federal law. Complaint procedures have been established for students, parents, employees, and members of the public. The School District's Compliance Officer and Title IX Coordinator to address complaints alleging sexual harassment under Title IX is Aaron Henderson, 620 Wilcox Street, Castle Rock, Colorado, [email protected], 720-433-1083.

Outside Agencies

Complaints regarding violations of Title VI, (race, national origin), Title IX (sex, gender), Section 504/ADA (handicap or disability), may be filed directly with the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, 1244 North Speer Blvd., Suite 310, Denver, CO 80204. Complaints regarding violations of Title VII (employment) and the ADEA (prohibiting age discrimination in employment) may be filed directly with the Federal Office of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 303 E. 17th Ave., Suite 510, Denver, CO 80202, or the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, 1560 Broadway, Suite 1050, Denver, CO 80202.

NOTICE OF DESTRUCTION OF SPECIAL EDUCATION RECORDS

Special Education records which have been collected by Douglas County School District related to the identification, evaluation, educational placement, or the provision of special education in the district, must be maintained under state and federal laws for the period of five (5) years after special education services have ended for the student. Special education services end when the student is no longer eligible for services, graduates, or completes his/her educational program at age 21, or moves from the district. This notification is to inform parents/guardians and former students of Douglas County School District's intent to destroy the special education records of students who exited special education services as of June 30, 2016. These records will be destroyed in accordance with state law unless the parent/guardian or eligible (adult) student notifies the school district otherwise. After five years, the records are no longer useful to the district, but may be useful to the parent/guardian or former student in applying for social security benefits, rehabilitation services, college entrance, etc. The parent/guardian or eligible (adult) student may request a copy of the records by requesting the records by email to [email protected]