Sackets Harbor may require routine COVID testing for basketball players

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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — As winter sports begin across the North Country, school districts are continuing to implement certain guidelines to control the spread of the coronavirus.

The Sackets Harbor Central School District has released specific guidance for its basketball season, as this has been deemed a high risk sport by the New York State Department of Health.

Based on guidance from the New York State Department of Health, all individuals must wear masks at all times indoors, regardless of vaccination status. Local school districts are reminding the community that this applies to athletes and spectators at sporting events.

Some accomodations will be made for indoor sports when masking is not possible, but individuals must be distanced six feet a part. Masks are also not required for athletes if drinking water.

However, Sackets Harbor confirmed that it will once again limit the number of spectators for indoor athletic event. No outside spectators will be permitted to attend scrimmages or practices. Home fans will be limited to immediate family members and “away” spectators will be limites to two per athlete from the opposing team.

A small student section will be set up on the gym stage. Students will be required to sign up to attend a game ahead of time.

Sackets Habor is also considering routine screening testing for student athletes. This may be implememnt while Jefferson County is designated as a red zone and if deemed by the Superintendent that COVID-19 transmission is occurring on athletic teams. This would require parent consent if implemented

The District stated that it may also require student ahtletes to share vaccination status to assist with contract tracing. Fully vaccinated individuals would not need to participate in routine testing.

Coaches will also be required to keep accurate records of practice and game attendences. They will also be expected to assist in contact tracing efforts if COVID-19 cases are detected on the team.

During basketball games, doors will also kept open when and where possible. The full basketball schedule can be found on the Sackets Harbor website.

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