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High schools allowed to resume team workouts

Wake and Mecklenburg County hold off until July 6

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CHAPEL HILL — The N.C. High School Athletic Association announced Monday morning that all high schools can hold team workouts for the upcoming fall sports season again starting June 15.

This decision ends a 94-day dead period for high school sports caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. Individual schools can implement their own guidelines to make workouts stricter than the NCHSAA’s ruling if they wish.

Guidelines from the NCHSAA largely fall in line with guidelines previously released by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services and the National Federation of State High School Associations.

It was announced later in the day that Wake County and Mecklenburg County schools will not return to team workouts until July 6. Many other counties, including Granville, Franklin, Wilson and others, are also delaying the start to July 6.

Restrictions will be in place to prevent physical contact and shared equipment for team workouts. Schools will also need to provide hand sanitizer and regular cleaning of high-touch surfaces.

This is part of Phase 1 for the return of high school athletics, the group said. Plans for phases 2 and 3 will be released by the NCHSAA in coming weeks.

Workouts are limited to 90 minutes. There should be no more than 25 people outside and no more than 10 people inside, including coaches, managers, trainers and other school personnel.

Workouts should be conducted in pods of athletes with the same 5-10 students working out together each day. There must be a minimum of 6 feet of distance between people at all times.

If distance is not possible, the number of people participating must be reduced to maintain social distance.

If a person on the team or staff member on a team tests positive for COVID-19, all members should quarantine for 14 days or until they test negative, check their temperature twice daily, and stay away from people who are higher risk.

To return after a positive test, an athlete or coach must meet all of these criteria: No fever for 72 hours without any fever-reducing medications, resolution of respiratory symptoms, at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared and a note of clearance from a licensed medical provider.