Sample COVID-19 Guidelines For Amateur Sports Camps / Clinic
Page under construction: Last updated: 2-23-21
(Note: These are generic guidelines developed from CDC, state, and other industry sources. Camp and sport specific additions, deletions, and changes to these guidelines should be made. In addition, these guidelines should be modified to comply with state and local laws and guidelines as regards COVID-19)
COVID-19 And Amateur Sports
The virus that causes COVID-19 can infect people of all ages. While the risk of serious illness or loss of life is greatest in those 65 years of age or older with pre-existing health conditions, persons in every age group can become infected with COVID-19 and some may become seriously ill or even die.
With rare exceptions, COVID-19 is not claiming the lives of our children. However, a child with a mild or even asymptomatic case of COVID-19 can spread that infection to others who may be far more vulnerable.
COVID-19 is spread from person to person through contact that is close enough to share droplets generated by coughing, sneezing, speaking, and even just breathing. COVID-19 can also be spread by touching objects where contaminated droplets have landed followed by touching of mouth, nose, or eyes. Due to this easy manner of transmission, an infant, child, young person, or adult who is infected with COVID-19 can spread the infection to others they come in close contact with, such as members of their household, coaches and players. Infected persons with mild or even no symptoms can spread COVID-19.
Due to these risks, sports organizations such as camps/clinics are adopting and implementing return to play protective guidelines such as the ones listed below to mitigate the risks of COVID-19 transmission. Many of these guidelines have been adjusted for youth in sporting activities and and a result are not as strict as what could be applied for adults in other social and business settings.
Parents should monitor the health of their children and not send them to participate in sports camp/clinic events if they exhibit any symptom of COVID-19. Adult participants should do the same. They should seek COVID-19 testing promptly and report results to camp staff given the implications for other participants, families, and staff. Parents of minor participants and adult participants should protect any vulnerable persons in the same household with whom they come into frequent, close contact. They should also be aware of the enhanced risks for those age 65 or over and/or with compromised immune systems for 14 days after such frequent, close contact.
Recent updates from CDC Considerations From Youth Sports Administrators (Updated Dec. 31, 2020) indicates that the primary mechanism for COVID spread comes from the air and not from surfaces or equipment. The NFHS Revises Guidance On COVID-19 Transmission During High School Sports (Feb. 2, 2021) indicates that the majority of sports related spread from COVID comes not from sports participation, but instead from social contact. Take this new information into account when deciding which mitigation techniques will have the largest impact.
Social Distancing + Face Masks + Limiting Group Socialization Outside Of Sports Field = Winning Formula According To Latest Research
The following are minimum guidelines to reduce COVID-19 transmission risks for players, staff, parents/guardians, and spectators. The use of the term “camp” applies to all instruction, skills/drills, scrimmages, and other approved activities.
- COVID-19 Coordinator: Appoint a COVID-19 coordinator to oversee all aspects of the COVID-19 risk management plan including customization, implementation, monitoring, updates/changes, communications, staff training, regulatory compliance, documentation, and answering staff, player, parent/guardian and spectator questions about COVID-19 concerns.
- State And Local COVID-19 Guidelines: In addition to these minimum guidelines, you should follow all state and local guidelines as regards COVID-19 and sports camps including but not limited to start dates and limitations on crowd sizes. CDC guidelines are meant to supplement but not replace the more important state and local health and safety laws, rules, and regulations.
- Waiver / Release: An approved Minor waiver/release with COVID-19 language form should be signed by all parents/guardians and players prior to participation. An approved Adult Waiver/Release with COVID-19 language should be signed prior to participation by all camp staff who are employees, independent contractors, or volunteers.
- Signage: COVID-19 warning signage should be conspicuously posted at entry, exit, and in bathrooms warning of COVID-19 risks and what steps can be taken to reduce such risks such as social distancing, use of face coverings, frequent hand washing and/or use of hand sanitizer, and enhanced risks to those with underlying conditions and over the age of 65.
- Distribution: This document should be emailed to all staff, players (if appropriate), and parents/guardians prior to participation in the camp event. In addition, this document should be posted on the camp’s website and any applicable social media.
- Spread Out Scheduling Of Camp Activities: There should be enough time between camp activities to allow one group to vacate the premises before the next group enters as well as for proper sanitation of surfaces and other equipment.
- Stay Home When Appropriate: Players, staff, parents/guardians, and spectators should stay home when they are showing signs of COVID-19, have a temperature, or have had close contact with a person with COVID-19.
- If COVID Symptoms Exhibited At Camp: If a staff member, player, parent/guardian, or spectator exhibits symptoms during the camp event, they should immediately be separated and attended to in an isolation room using CDC precautions for when attending those with COVID symptoms. Arrangements should be made for the safe transportation home or to a health care facility depending on the severity of the symptoms.
- Duty To Disclose, Quarantine, And Return To Activity: If a staff member or player has tested positive for COVID-19, exhibits symptoms but has not been tested, or has had close contact, (additional close contact considerations) such staff member or parent/guardian on behalf of player must immediately notify the COVID-19 coordinator and must remain in quarantine until meeting state or CDC Criteria For Discontinuing Home Isolation. Return to activity should be cleared by the COVID-19 coordinator based on CDC guidance.
- Notification To Third Parties: The COVID-19 coordinator should notify local health officials, staff, and family members of players immediately of any lab confirmed case of COVID-19 for any staff member or player while complying with local and state privacy/ confidentiality laws as well as with HIPAA and the Americans With Disabilities Act.
- Daily Screening: If feasible, conduct pre-camp and daily observation and/or questioning of all players and staff about the existence of any COVID-19 symptoms including cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, diarrhea, feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, or known close contact with a person who is lab confirmed to have COVID-19.
- Social Distancing: All staff, players, parents/guardians and spectators not of the same household should practice social distancing of 6 ft. whenever possible. Camps should employ the use of space markers where applicable as well as spaced vacant seating areas in rooms and on shared transportation.
- Small Groups: To the greatest extent possible, keep players in small groups with dedicated staff and limit mixing between groups.
- Large Group Meetings: To the extent large group meetings such as orientation, awards ceremonies, instruction, entertainment can’t be avoided, social distancing of 6 ft. should be practiced.
- No Congregation: Staff, players, parents/guardians, and spectators should not congregate prior, during, or after a camp session and should avoid other groups that are leaving the prior event. Team staff, players, parents/guardians, and spectators should quickly exit after the camp session and go directly to their cars without congregating with other teams or spectators in common areas.
- Camp Check In Process: Camp staff and players should continue social distancing during the camp check in process.
- Staff Face Coverings: Staff are encouraged to wear face covering whenever within 6 ft. of another player, staff member, or parent.
- Player Face Coverings: Players are encouraged to wear face coverings in close contact areas and situations where applicable. Players should be allowed to wear face coverings in drills and scrimmages should they choose to do so and long as they don’t compromise their safety.
- Parent / Spectator Face Coverings: Parents and spectators are encouraged to wear face coverings whenever they are at the facility and within 6 ft. of a person not of the same household.
- Personal Hygiene: Staff, players, parents/guardians, and spectators should practice proper hygiene, wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, use hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol), abstain from touching their face (mouth, nose or eyes), refrain from spitting, and cover their cough or sneeze with a tissue and throw tissue in the trash. In addition as a back up, players and staff should carry their own hand sanitizer.
- Player Equipment: Player provided equipment should be kept in a bag and should be spaced to encourage social distancing. The camp should provide disinfectant wipes for players to wipe down their own equipment between use.
- Shared Equipment: The use of camp provided equipment should be limited to the greatest extent possible and should be disinfected between each use if possible. Balls should be disinfected whenever possible and an adequate supply should be kept on hand.
- Water Bottles: Players or the camp should provide separate marked bottles for players or staff to fill at filling stations with any buttons or levers being disinfected between each use.
- No Handshakes/Celebrations: Players and staff should refrain from handshakes, high fives, fist/elbow bumps, chest bumps, group celebrations, etc.
- Adequate Supplies: The camp should support healthy hygiene by providing hand sanitizer, paper towels, tissues, disinfectant wipes, and cloth face coverings (as feasible).
- Facility Washing / Hand Sanitizer Stations: The camp owner/operator should provide hand washing and/or hand sanitizer stations throughout the facility and should schedule frequent, mandatory use at the start, during breaks, and at end of activity sessions.
- Ventilation: All indoor areas should be ventilated by opening doors and windows to increase the circulation of outdoor air as much as possible.
- Facility Sanitation: The camp owner/operator should regularly clean and sanitize all common areas including dugouts, other seating, water fountains, bathrooms, meeting rooms, concession stands, concession areas, game rooms, playground equipment, dinner rooms, sleeping areas (if any), shared transportation vehicles, etc. High touch areas such as door handles, sink handles, water fountains, etc. should be disinfected on a more frequent basis. A sanitation schedule should be maintained and documented after each cleaning. See CDC guidance on cleaning and disinfecting your facility including what cleaning products to use and steps for safe disinfectant use.
- Food Service: Day campers should bring their own drinks and meals whenever possible and should sit in small groups (practicing social distancing) instead of a cafeteria. If food is offered, serve in pre-packed containers and offer disposable plates and utensils. If disposable food items are not desired, all food staff should wear gloves and face coverings, practice social distancing whenever possible with co workers, frequently wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and after all potential contamination events, may use hand sanitizer (60% alcohol) but not as a substitute for hand washing, and frequently sanitize all surfaces.
- Overnight Camps: For overnight camps, align beds so that players sleep head to foot at least 6 ft apart. Also, the distance between sinks should be 6 ft. When a 6 ft. separation is not possible, add plastic barriers such as flexible screens between beds and sinks. Encourage staff and campers to avoid placing toothbrushes and toiletries directly on surfaces.
DISCLAIMER AND HOLD HARMLESS/INDEMNIFICATION
THIS SAMPLE COVID-19 RISK MANAGEMENT PLAN IS MEANT TO PROVIDE GENERAL GUIDELINES AND EDUCATIONAL AWARENESS TRAINING AND IS NOT AN ALL ENCOMPASSING PLAN. THIS SAMPLE PLAN MAY CONTAIN INCORRECT INFORMATION OR MAY OMIT CRITICAL INFORMATION. EACH SPORTS ORGANIZATION SHOULD CONSULT OTHER SOURCES AND EXPERTS IN ORDER TO CUSTOMIZE THEIR OWN PLANS. NO LEGAL ADVICE IS BEING PROVIDED. THE PURPOSE OF THIS PLAN IS TO REDUCE THE RISK OF LIABILITY. THIS PROGRAM IS NOT A SAFETY PROGRAM AND DOES NOT GUARANTEE THE SAFETY OF STAFF, PARTICIPANTS, PARENTS/GUARDIANS, SPECTATORS, HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS OR OTHER THIRD PARTIES. SADLER AND COMPANY, INC.; DBA SADLER SPORTS & RECREATION INSURANCE DISCLAIMS ANY AND ALL LIABILITY RESULTING FROM THE DISSEMINATION OF THIS PLAN. IN EXCHANGE FOR RECEIPT OF THIS INFORMATION, SPORTS ORGANIZATION AND ITS RESPECTIVE DIRECTORS, OFFICERS, ADMINISTRATORS, EMPLOYEES, VOLUNTEERS, AND INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS AGREE TO HOLD HARMLESS AND INDEMNIFY SADLER AND COMPANY, INC.; DBA SADLER SPORTS & RECREATION INSURANCE AND ITS RESPECTIVE DIRECTORS, OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES FOR ANY CLAIMS OF BODILY INJURY (INCLUDING ILLNESS OR SICKNESS), PROPERTY DAMAGE, PERSONAL INJURY (EX: SLANDER, LIBEL, FALSE IMPRISONMENT, ETC.), ADVERTISING INJURY, BREACH OF CONTRACT, INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY VIOLATIONS OR OTHER DAMAGES (INCLUDING REASONABLE ATTORNEY’S FEES) TO THEMSELVES OR THIRD PARTIES.