Sports summer practice during COVID-19

COVID and Sports

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Summer practice for sports across Southwest Louisiana started last week, but with an increase in coronavirus cases in the area, Calcasieu Parish schools explained how they’re taking precaution to keep their athletes safe.

For Calcasieu Parish schools, summer athletics coordinator Aaron McDonald said coaches had to attend a presentation that outlined protocols before practices began.

“That first week of June, we put together a PowerPoint presentation, brought in all of our site administrators, all of our head coaches, band director, cheer and dance sponsors, and we unveiled that plan,” Mcdonald said. “The LHSA supported those guidelines, our stance was a little bit stricter in some areas.”

The guidelines include:

· Temperature checks prior to workout

· Filling out screening questions regarding potential symptoms, which will be recorded and stored

· “Static” Groups of no more than 25 individuals including coaches and staff allowed at one time, only permissible if 6 feet aart

· Wiping facilities and equipment prior to any group entering

· Different entrance and exit points for groups

McDonald said the guidelines are flexible and enforced.

“We’re going to stick with this plan,” McDonald said. “Now if there are changes that come from up above, of course, it is a very fluid situation, we will adust and we will bring all the coaches and administrators together.”

The plan makes sure if a student does test positive for the coronavirus or exhibit symptoms, not everyone is impacted.

“We take that on a case by case basis,” McDonald said. “We may or may not shut down the entire static group. I’m not saying that sport, but all those congregated around that positive test if there is one.”

McDonald said it’s different for coaches.

“In the case that coach might be diagnosed, he’s a part of both static groups, we possibly would shut down that entire sport if it involves both groups,” McDonald said.

Calcasieu Parish said there has been no instances of a breach of protocol since the summer protocols were put in place.

“There might be stories out there,” McDonald said. “I want to confirm that we have not had a situation where a coach tested positive and continued working out their group.”

To make sure all protocols are being followed by the sports teams, there are in-person and virtual audits that happen on a daily basis.

Copyright 2020 KPLC. All rights reserved.