Most high school fall sports practices in Indiana are scheduled to start Monday. Local high schools are preparing to try to keep student athletes and coaches safe when they return.
The St. Joseph County Health Department just released new guidance for reopening schools this fall but officials say the metrics for determining when and how to resume athletics is slightly different.
The County’s Health Department spokesperson Robin Vida said outdoor practices don’t pose the same risk as students returning for in-person classes because being outside allows for more ways to socially distance.
“When you look at those variables, it’s different than putting individuals inside for hours at a time,” she said.
Vida said the health department would still like to see the County’s COVID-19 cases decrease in order to feel more comfortable with the thought of fall sports. The county hit a new high on Wednesday for daily virus cases.
South Bend’s St. Joseph High School is still planning on going forward with practices. Deb Brown is the school’s athletic director.
“I think we’re going to err on the side of caution and we’re constantly looking at the situation and if we have to hold some groups out then we won’t hesitate to do that,” she said.
Brown said practices will be held with smaller groups and students and faculty are expected to wear face masks when possible.
Another high school in the county, Mishawaka, already had preparation for football and volleyball impacted by cases of COVID-19.
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