GOVERNOR CARNEY’S TWENTY SIXTH MODIFICATION FOR COVID AND SPORTS
1. “Medium risk” means activities that involve participants in close proximity, and typically involve intermittent personal contact. Examples include baseball, softball, field hockey, girls’/women’s lacrosse, soccer, flag or 7-on-7 football, team running, running clubs and track and field, team swimming, rowing (other than with household members), sailing, volleyball, dance class, fencing, and gymnastics.
SUBMISSION AND APPROVAL OF PLANS
1. Tournaments are not permitted until plans for the tournaments are approved by DPH. Tournament facilities shall submit plans to HSPcontact@delaware.gov for review. Plans must include a method to collect contact information for all players, staff, coaches, officials and spectators, as well as team rosters and game schedules to assist with contact tracing in the event of a COVID-19 infection.
2. Facilities, leagues or organizers that will host indoor sports, including leagues and tournaments, must have a plan approved by DPH. Plans must address face coverings, social distancing, ventilation, and other applicable requirements. Plans must also include a method to collect contact information for all players, staff, coaches, officials and spectators, as well as team rosters and game schedules to assist with contact tracing in the event of a COVID-19 infection. Plans shall be submitted by facilities to HSPcontact@delaware.gov.
3. Facilities, organizers or leagues that wish to modify the requirements for any high risk category activity may request to modify rules in order to prevent athletes from being in close proximity or direct contact with one another (g., USA Lacrosse Rule Modifications would allow boys’ lacrosse to be in the medium risk category). Such facilities, organizers or leagues may also request face covering modifications. Rule or face covering modifications must be approved by DPH. Requests shall be submitted to HSPcontact@delaware.gov.
1. Athletes playing medium and low risk sports may remove their face covering when active on a field of play but must wear it at all other times.
2. All athletes playing indoors must wear face coverings at all times, unless rule changes or face covering modifications approved by DPH are in place.
3. Coaches and all staff must wear a face covering at all times. This includes when addressing players or officials on or off the field, when coaching during the game, and during practices, trainings and team meetings.
4. Referees and officials must wear a face covering at all times. Traditional whistles must be replaced with a device that can be used for attention without removing the face covering.
5. Spectators and others must wear a face covering at all times while indoors. Spectators and others must also wear a face covering at all times while outdoors, unless seated and socially distanced, at least six (6) feet apart from others outside their household.
6. Coaches, staff and referees who have a medical condition that makes it hard to breathe or a disability that prevents the individual from wearing a face covering can request a reasonable accommodation from their employer or the individual responsible for the athletic event.
- Players must be at least six (6) feet apart from one another at all times, except during on-field play in game-time situations.
- Dugouts, benches and other limited or enclosed gathering spaces must not be used unless six (6) feet of distancing can be maintained.
- Players and coaches must be at least six (6) feet apart from one another at all times unless they are from the same household.
- Players must be provided adequate space for belongings, water bottles and equipment to ensure six (6) feet of distancing when accessing gear.
HAND WASHING, SANITIZING, CLEANING AND DISINFECTING
- Players, staff, coaches, officials and all participants in sports must wash hands or sanitize hands, per CDC and DPH guidelines, before and after practice and games. Washing or sanitizing during games and practices with shared equipment or facilities is strongly encouraged, especially when balls or equipment are touched by more than one person.
- Hand sanitizer or hand washing stations must be readily available for all players, staff, coaches, officials, spectators and all participants throughout the business location, including at each entry and exit. Hand sanitizer must be composed of at least sixty percent (60%) ethanol or seventy percent (70%) isopropanol.
- Facilities must be cleaned at least once per day (or between uses if not used daily). High contact surfaces, including but not limited to doorknobs, light switches, and railings, must be cleaned every fifteen (15) minutes to two (2) hours. EPA List 6 approved disinfectant must be used for frequently touched surfaces.
- All facilities, organizers and leagues, must identify a safety and hygiene manager who is responsible for coordinating and enforcing COVID-19 protocols. All coaches, staff, officials and families should know who this person is and how to contact them. Any plans submitted to DPH must identify this individual.
- Coaches, staff, officials, parents and players must be informed and routinely reminded of team infection control measures and COVID-19 protocols – especially around face coverings and social distancing.
- Coaches, staff, officials, parents and players must be informed about the expectation to stay home when sick, to contact the team safety and hygiene manager if they test positive for COVID-19, and to inform DPH about possible exposures.
- A health self-assessment must be completed by each athlete, coach and staff prior to engaging in any athletic activity in a facility, organization or league.
- Each athlete shall have only one person accompany them to practices or games. That person shall wear a face covering as required and be at least six (6) feet apart from others unless waiting in their car.
- Teams and leagues must have written arrival and departure procedures that, at a minimum address:
- Staggered arrival/departure to reduce mixing of groups.
- A procedure for health assessment for all athletes, coaches, and staff; and
- A protocol to address a person who develops symptoms during activity.
- Sports organizations and facilities must post extensive signage instructing staff, participants, and spectators about required face coverings and maintaining six (6) feet of distance from others. Printable signs that will help you comply with signage requirements are available at de.gov/playsafelysign.
In addition to the requirements above, specific activities or sports will be classified according to risk, and organizers must conduct activities in accordance with the risk-based classification. For sports where the risk category has not been identified below, sports organizers must confirm the risk category with DPH at HSPcontact@delaware.gov prior to initiation of practices or competitions.
- For low risk activities, if social distancing and other general guidance can be followed, no modifications are needed.
- For medium risk activities, the following are required at all times:
i. Staggered starts must be used for sports like running that typically involve group starts.
ii. Activities must be conducted outside unless approved by DPH.
iii. Shared equipment must be disinfected between users.
3. For medium risk activities, shorter practice times or smaller groups shall be used to reduce contact time between participants.
4. For medium risk activities, the following rule and play modifications are required if face coverings are not worn at all times:
i. Deliberate, direct physical contact, including body checking, tackling, blocking, pack running/riding, must be eliminated.
ii. Rule changes must be in place to prevent close proximity or contact by replacing face-offs, restarts, etc., with alternatives that allow for social distancing.