Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s loosened COVID-19 restrictions on recreational activities will allow for the return of high school sports in the state in December.
According to WTOP News, the Virginia High School League is prepared to resume high school sports next month after Northam amended state Executive Order 67, which includes changes regarding recreational sports, last week. The changes in the executive order allow the VHSL to proceed with its “Championship + 1” schedule, which was approved by the group’s executive committee in September.
Under the rules, coronavirus screenings for coaches, officials, staff and players are required. Indoor and outdoor sports can be played if the total number of attendees is less than 250 people. Smaller venues can host events with no more than 50% capacity. Races and marathons can have as many as 1,000 participants, but with staggered start times. Hugging and high-fiving, handshaking and fist-bumps are not allowed under VHSL guidelines.
“This amendment by the Governor clears the way for all of our sports to play,” VHSL Executive Director John W. Haun said in a statement. “Adherence to these guidelines will offer a safe reopening for our students, coaches, staff, officials, and communities once we start playing in December. Additionally, we appreciate the close collaboration and guidance from the Governor’s office, the Virginia Department of Health, and the Virginia Department of Education,”
The Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association is slated to release its safety guidelines on Nov. 6.