By: Keith Klein (photo WANE.com)
School sports and extracurricular activities resume today. According to the Department of Education, it will happen in three stages, each providing more liberties to participants and spectators. The IHSAA announced athletes are limited to 15 hours per week on a school campus until July 19 — the anticipated end of the first returning phase.
Locker rooms can’t be used, formal competition is discouraged and there should be no contact in practice sports. Sports teams will be allowed two – three-hour – activity days a week. Conditioning is limited to four days a week at two hours per session. Pools can be used, but schools are encouraged to create a plan for reopening recreational water facilities. When students are not lifting weights or participating in an activity, face masks should be worn. Coaches and other personnel are expected to wear face masks always. The IHSAA said, “We’re not mandating — schools decide their own policies — but we think the guidance we’re offering is helping schools make the best decisions for their students’ return.” The second stage of extra and co-curricular reopening, scheduled for July 20-Aug. 15, requires social distancing and limits group sizes. Contact can be reintroduced in contact sports and locker rooms may reopen at 50% capacity. Students will still be asked to wear face coverings. Marching bands across the state are also getting back to the practice field. Athletic and music associations warn that even after activities resume, they could still be put on hold again.
Police say a seizure may have led to the drowning death of a 15-year-old boy July 4th at Heritage Lake. According to the sheriff, the teenager was swimming off a family dock when he went under. Attempts to resuscitate the victim were unsuccessful. The Putnam County Coroner will issue a report on the 15-year-old’s death.