Temperature checks, coaches in masks, and no spitting, high-fiving or any contact await athletes and coaches as Flagstaff Unified School District released Phase 1 of its return to play guidelines.
According to a document sent by FUSD spokesperson Zach Fountain to the Daily Sun on Monday, all players and coaches will be required to have their temperature checked prior to workouts, which will be conducted outside for the entirety of Phase 1, with an infrared thermometer. If their temperature is above 98.6 degrees, the person will be retested with an oral/tympanic thermometer. If the individual’s temperature is above 100.4 degrees on that test, they will be sent home immediately.
The entirety of Phase 1, which will last at least two weeks, has teams focus on conditioning and individual strength training -- with no balls allowed to be used.
During workouts, social distancing of six feet apart must be followed and athletes must work out in groups of 10 that start in waves of at least 15 minutes. There can be more than one group at a time, but they must be 80 feet apart according to the guidelines. Coaches are allowed to work with all of their athletes, but the groups of 10 must remain the same, in hopes of lessening the chance of transmission between different athletes.
All coaches have to wear face masks or face coverings, but if athletes are doing any conditioning or physical activity, they are not required to wear masks.
Athletes are allowed to work out a max of two hours per day and will have to bring their own water to workouts in a labeled water bottle -- which can’t be shared between athletes. If an athlete runs out of water, the guidelines state the athlete must go home.
Hand sanitizer will be readily available, according to the guidelines, while records will be kept to monitor players and coaches in a COVID-19 symptom log. If anyone is showing any symptoms, that person will not be permitted to work out that day; if symptoms started during the workout, the individual will be sent home immediately and won’t be allowed to return until cleared by a licensed healthcare professional.
Most of what is normally seen at an athletics practice, like spitting, high-fives, chest bumping or any other contact between individuals, is not allowed under the Phase 1 guidelines. Sharing equipment like towels, pinnies and shoes is not allowed.
It is currently unclear when athletes will be able to use the weight room or gym, but that will likely be cleared in Phase 2. FUSD is finalizing plans for the next phases, which will be released once completed.
Both the Coconino High School and Flagstaff High School football teams have started practicing.
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