CANTON, N.Y. (WWNY) - St. Lawrence County is giving the green light for school to participate in high-risk winter sports.
The Public Health Department sent out guidance Saturday morning.
Last Friday, the state gave clearance for high-school winter sports like hockey, volleyball, basketball, wrestling, and cheerleading to start their delayed seasons February 1st.
The state guidance said the final approval has to come from local public health departments, and St. Lawrence County has now given their go, joining Lewis County in starting the season.
Along with the state’s rules that have athletes wearing masks, spectators limited to 50%, and travel outside of the region being prohibited, St Lawrence County has some additional requirements.
Public Health is asking that each parent or guardian of a student athlete sign off on a consent form saying they know the risks associated with their child playing high-risk sports during a pandemic.
Schools must also prepare a COVID-19 safety plan which must be approved by the school board.
And it is recommended that each athlete, coach, and referee get tested for COVID-19 weekly.
At the end of the day, it is still up to each school to decide if and when they want to participate in these high risk sports.
While the county is providing guidance for high-risk sports, Section 10, which encompasses schools in St. Lawrence County, said Friday that it’s not ready to begin play.
“At the present time, our region is experiencing high positivity rates and a decline in hospital capacity. There has also been a sharp increase in the number of school staff and students placed in mandatory quarantine over the past few weeks, which in many cases has affected districts’ ability to hold in-person learning,” Section 10 officials said in a news release.
Section 10 Director Carl Normandin said that officials will be looking at models “for potentially conducting an abbreviated winter, fall 2 and spring sports season once the health and safety factors indicate that it is safe to do so.”