AISD creates new COVID-19 Protocols for Athletics

Arushi Sharma, Editor-in-Chief

On Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022, Leal Anderson, Austin Independent School District’s (AISD) Atheltic Director released some new guidelines for sporting events. In response to Austin-Travis County moving into Stage 5, AISD decided to add in some new restrictions on mask requirements, capacity limits, health screenings, and practices. 

As basketball, soccer, and track season starts, AISD’s rules will be implemented at these sporting events. The rules are in alignment with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations for COVID-19. With the uncertainty of COVID-19, AISD continues to monitor the situation and will update regulations as needed. 

The new protocols are as follows:

Mask Requirements: Students, staff, and spectators will be required to wear masks at indoor athletic events unless they’re actively participating in the sport. 

  • Student-athletes must be masked at all times when they are not playing the sport. That means masks are required in locker rooms, in meetings, or on the sidelines. 
  • The masking requirement extends to all visiting teams and spectators.

Capacity limits: Players will be allowed two guests each, and all guests are required to wear masks. 

Health screenings: Student-athletes will be verbally screened daily to confirm everyone at the practice or game feels healthy. 

  • Student-athletes are expected to self-screen and self-report if they’re experiencing any symptoms, including congestion, runny nose, sneezing, or cough. 
  • Anyone who has symptoms should not attend any type of school activity. 

Practices: Varsity, junior varsity, and freshman teams will practice separately to not expose different student groups to each other. Coaches are required to keep attendance rosters.

  • Access to locker rooms will be limited. Athletic staff will stagger entering/exiting of athlete groups.

Equipment: Athletes should bring their own labeled water bottle to practice every day. Athletic equipment should be cleaned and disinfected regularly.

What you can do: Get vaccinated and encourage others to get the COVID-19 vaccine and their booster shots, if eligible. 

  • Anyone who has COVID symptoms should not attend any type of school activity. 

The Dispatch will update this story as more information is released.