UHSAA Unanimously Approves Fall Sports, Activities Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Jul 9, 2020, 11:07 AM | Updated: 5:35 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah High School Activities Association (UHSAA) unanimously approved fall sports and activities for the upcoming 2020-21 school year amid the coronavirus pandemic.

UHSAA made the decision during its Board of Trustees meeting on Thursday, July 9.

The Board will meet again in three weeks to reevaluate the decision.

“99 percent of the communication I had received in the last week had been from parents, educators, basically saying our kids are hurting. They’re hurting mentally. They want to return back to the way it was as much as they can,” Robert Cuff, the executive director of the UHSAA told reporters after the meeting. “Parents and students can still opt out of high school activities just like they can opt-out of in-person learning in most cases but we want to provide — where it’s safe — an opportunity for high school sports to continue.”

Sports impacted by the announcement include:
  • Football
  • Cross Country
  • Volleyball
  • Girls Soccer
  • Girls Tennis
  • Baseball (1A)
  • Boys Golf (2A-6A)

In the spring of 2020, UHSAA canceled all spring sports through the rest of the 2019-20 academic year due to the spread of COVID-19.

Safety Measures

Safety measures for the fall sports were detailed during the UHSAA meeting. Many of the protocols changed based on the state of Utah’s color-coded risk phases for contracting the coronavirus disease, COVID-19.

Utah Color-Code Risk Phases

  • Red – High Risk
  • Orange – Moderate Risk
  • Yellow – Low Risk
  • Green – New Normal

For example, if Utah is in a yellow phase during fall sports as opposed to a green phase, some of the safety measures will be heightened.

Some of the safety measures for the fall include:

  • Cleaning and sanitizing of facilities and equipment
  • Hand sanitizer being readily available
  • Encouragement of proper social distancing and hygiene etiquette

“We understand and acknowledge that it may not be a flow throughout the whole fall season and there may be some stop and go. There may be some reevaluation and monitoring along the way but at least this is a start to say to our schools, ‘We’re ready to move forward. We need your help,'” Cuff continued. “The communication we’ve received from parents and educators both have said ‘We’re willing to do anything to allow our kids to participate. We’re willing to be part of the solution not part of the problem.”

In addition, each high school will still be under the jurisdiction of county health departments and must follow guidelines provided to them.

Coronavirus Resources

How Do I Prevent It?

The CDC has some simple recommendations, most of which are the same for preventing other respiratory illnesses or the flu:

  • Avoid close contact with people who may be sick
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

How To Get Help

If you’re worried you may have COVID-19, you can contact the Utah Coronavirus Information Line at 1-800-456-7707 to speak to trained healthcare professionals. You can also use telehealth services through your healthcare providers.

Additional Resources

If you see evidence of PRICE GOUGING, the Utah Attorney General’s Office wants you to report it. Common items in question include toilet paper, water, hand sanitizer, certain household cleaners, and even cold medicine and baby formula. Authorities are asking anyone who sees price gouging to report it to the Utah Division of Consumer Protection at 801-530-6601 or 800-721-7233. The division can also be reached by email at consumerprotection@utah.gov.

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UHSAA Unanimously Approves Fall Sports, Activities Amid Coronavirus Pandemic