Athletic facilities open for practice

School Board outlines plan for safe return to sports during pandemic
By 
JOE POIRIER
Ozaukee Press Staff

Grafton School District athletic facilities became available for rent on Wednesday, July 1, as sports teams gear up for practices and camps. 

During the June 22 School Board meeting, the board discussed requirements for teams to use indoor facilities and fields for activities. 

Prior to the meeting, Supt. Jeff Nelson said, the district opened its playgrounds and high school track for the public to use. 

Nelson told the board the district consulted with the Washington Ozaukee Public Health Department, its insurance carrier and legal counsel and collaborated with area districts within the North Shore Conference.

“This is a fluid situation that will likely result in changes as additional guidance is provided through the state and local health departments,” Nelson said. 

“These guidelines were adapted to closely align with the Blueprint for Reopening Washington and Ozaukee Counties while following (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) considerations. The goal of this plan is to reduce the risk of exposure to Covid-19 through social distancing and implementing best practice safety procedures.”

Although the health department set its indoor occupancy capacity at 50%, the board agreed to reduce the number of people to 25%. The board also agreed to have a maximum number of 50 people per field. 

In order for students and coaches to use an athletic facility, they must not exhibit any symptoms of the coronavirus and not have had any contact with someone who has shown symptoms in the last 10 days. 

Anyone who tests positive will be quarantined for a minimum of 10 days and must be asymptomatic for at least 72 hours before returning to participation.

Nelson said coaches are responsible for ensuring social distancing is maintained between players as much as possible throughout practices and camps. Coaches also must sanitize shared equipment before and after each practice.

Players are required to bring their own water bottles, which must be labeled with their names. Coaches and players also must check their temperatures at home before practice.

Nelson also said locker rooms are unavailable until further notice.

Players and coaches have been told to avoid high fives, handshakes, fist bumps, hugs and huddles, and they are not allowed to spit or chew sunflower seeds during practices or competitions. Restrooms can only be used in emergencies. 

The maximum capacity for the Grafton High School fitness center and pools is 25 participants. 

No alumni or community members may use the weight room.

Nelson said no spectators will be allowed until further notice.

Coaches and participants who fail to comply with the guidelines may lose their participation privileges. 

Nelson said there are signs posted at each facility to remind participants of the safety guidelines.

 

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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