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The Oregon School Activities Association issued further clarification on extracurricular activities using an email to all schools on Wednesday, Jan.5. Citing the Oregon Department of Education’s Jan. 3 memo, OSAA maintained the decision to continue sports will be left with individual districts.
The memo is as follows:
The OSAA has received numerous inquiries regarding the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) and Oregon Health Authority (OHA) information titled School Health Advisory for Continuity of Instruction that was released on January 3, 2022. Below is the specific passage related to extracurricular activities from the ODE advisory memo:
Schools and other organizations should pause extracurricular activities or ensure they follow the same layered mitigation safety protocols practiced during the school day (use of face coverings, screening and diagnostic testing, encourage vaccination, frequent handwashing, etc.).
o If schools and other organizations proceed with extracurricular activities, especially as these activities move indoors and individuals are unmasked, they should expect rapid transmission of COVID-19 that will prevent students from participating in in-person learning due to isolation for those that contract COVID-19 and lengthy quarantines for those that come into close contact with infected individuals.
o This risk should be clearly communicated to families participating in these extracurricular activities.
Activities play a critical role in the overall school experience for students and decisions regarding any action related to this school health advisory should be made at the local school level. Per the advisory, local school districts are able to make decisions that they believe work best for their schools and communities as it relates to potential changes to extracurricular activities and protocols.
Schools proceeding with extracurricular activities are strongly encouraged to review and strengthen their mitigation safety protocols. These protocols include, but are not limited to:
- Follow, and enforce, the OHA-mandated indoor masking rules.
- Utilize screening and diagnostic testing to monitor transmission and reduce spread.
- Encourage vaccinations, including boosters, for all that are eligible.
- Recommend frequent handwashing/sanitizing.
- Communicate the risks involved with your families and communities.
School proceeding with extracurricular activities should also consider the following:
- Cohorting teams when feasible to reduce possible exposure across programs.
- Limiting attendees for larger events, including tournaments, multi-team competitions, and/or district events.
- Limiting spectators to allow for increased physical distancing.
- Limiting extra contact events, especially indoors, including fundraising events, parties/team dinners, parent meetings, awards ceremonies, etc.
- Providing extra signage, handwashing stations/areas, and masks for those attending events.
Before you go! If you would like to support continuing and expanded high school sports coverage in eastern Oregon for as little as $1 a month click below! Thank you!