Fall Sports may restart as long as players adhere to strict guidance

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“We want Delaware’s children to be active, to get outside this fall. But coaches, sports organizers and parents need to make sure they’re following all necessary precautions to keep children and families safe from COVID-19,” said Governor Carney.

WILMINGTON (DE): As Delaware remains with restrictions in place due to  the coronavirus pandemic, Delaware Governor John Carney will allow fall sports but with strict restrictions in place for players.

The announcement came Tuesday as Carney signed his 26th modification to his State of Emergency Order, releasing updated guidance from the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) on playing fall sports safely in Delaware.

The new guidance categorizes sports by risk – high risk, medium risk, and low risk – and requires sports organizers to follow guidance around masks, social distancing, and other preventive measures to keep players, families, and coaches safe.

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“We want Delaware’s children to be active, to get outside this fall. But coaches, sports organizers and parents need to make sure they’re following all necessary precautions to keep children and families safe from COVID-19,” said Governor Carney. “This virus is still active in our communities. Wear a mask. Physically distance from others. Don’t gather in large groups. We’re beating this virus, but we all need to stay vigilant.”

Anyone playing a high-risk sport, including football and wrestling, must wear a face mask at all times, or an organization or league must present a plan to DPH to modify the sport to limit contact, according to the guidance. The Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association (DIAA) has final determination about whether school sports may resume in Delaware.

All youth and adult amateur sports facilities and organizations must review and follow the DPH guidance. Every athletic facility and sports organization is responsible for enforcing these requirements.

Fines or closure may be imposed on facilities and organizations that do not follow DPH guidance for playing fall sports safely. Failure to comply with plans submitted to, and approved by, DPH will result in rescission of plan approval and further enforcement.

“We value the important physical, social, and emotional role that recreational and league sports plays in both the lives of youth and adults,” said DPH Health Systems Protection Chief Jamie Mack. “Our focus is making sure that it can be done safely for not only players, but also coaches, officials, spectators, and others involved. We will continue to concentrate on face covering and social distancing requirements as critically important strategies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 during practice and play.”

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