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Springfield Public Schools explains COVID-19 protocols for student athletes, encourages those participating to get vaccinated

Published: Jul. 5, 2021 at 12:48 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Even though school is out for summer, student athletes are still practicing for the upcoming fall season.

Springfield Public Schools is still asking student athletes to be cautious of COVID-19. The district is also encouraging students to get vaccinated if they’re eligible.

Jean Grabeel, SPS Director of Health Services, says student athletes aren’t required to mask, but it’s recommended, along with social distancing when possible. However, Grabeel says students are required to mask when on the school bus if they’re traveling for games.

If an athlete would contract the virus, SPS would begin contact tracing. As far as quarantine goes, Grabeel says it depends if the team was close proximity like football or separated like in cross country.

“Were they riding in a car together, or are they doing close contact sport of some kind, where they’re all huddled together or were they doing long distance running where they weren’t in close proximity,” said Grabeel. “You have to take all of those considerations and play before making the determination and then once we do that, then the will is this, who had the closest contact with them and then we determine who’s who would need to be placed in quarantine.”

If students are attending sports camp, they will have to continue following safety guidelines. Grabeel recommends students to continue practicing good hygiene and stay hydrated.

”If we want them to be engaged and we want them to participate,” said Grabeel. “The important thing that parents can do is to make sure that they’re vaccinated, and to then also if their child is old enough to have that pain, that they are, have them vaccinated too, because that’s a great way a great, great way for prevention.”

Springfield Public Schools recently released their plan for the fall and the is to return to a five-day, in-person week with optional masking unless on the school bus.

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