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NYSPHSAA holds second meeting of COVID-19 Task Force to discuss scenarios for return of athletics

The Task Force currently has six possible scenarios it is discussing for interscholastic athletics across the state in the upcoming 2020-21 school year.

Posted: Jul 1, 2020 12:12 AM
Updated: Jul 1, 2020 3:10 PM

LATHAM, N.Y. - The New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) held the second meeting of its COVID-19 Task Force, Tuesday.

The 24-member group was briefed on the latest regarding the coronavirus pandemic in the state by representatives of the New York State Health Department and New York State Education Department (NYSED). The Task Force then discussed Governor Andrew Cuomo's reopening plan and its impact upon interscholastic athletics.

According to Dr. Robert Zayas, NYSPHSAA Executive Director, it remains that no on-campus activity can be held through the school until given authorization by Governor Cuomo. This includes summer workouts and conditioning exercises either inside or outside on school grounds.

The Task Force has reviewed six potential return to school scenarios and established their own coinciding scenarios to return to athletic activity.

The scenarios being discussed are as follows:

1) Schools open for in-person learning; includes athletic participation.
2) Schools open with hybrid education (combination of in-person & virtual learning); includes
athletic participation.
3) Schools only provide distance learning (virtual education); includes athletic participation.
4) Schools open with hybrid education (combination of in-person & virtual learning); does NOT
include athletic participation at start of school year.
5) Schools only provide distance learning; does NOT include athletic participation at start of
school year.
6) Regional differences in start dates & learning platforms.

Dr. Zayas, in a Zoom conference call with media following the meeting, said that "everything is on the table," and that sports could be played out of traditional season to remain flexible with whatever the landscape of the pandemic may be at the time.

"It is my intention that no student have to be told what the spring sports athletes were told at the beginning of March," Zayas said. "It is my commitment to the association and to all student-athletes and their parents that we are doing everything we can in this point in time to ensure that every student gets the season they want in the upcoming school year."

He added that it is uncertain exactly what seasons may look like, what length they will be, or whether or not championships will be played, but that the goal is to give students some form of ability to participate in their interscholastic sport in the upcoming academic year.

Zayas did also say that it is possible that NYSPHSAA could hold "low risk" sports only this fall with "moderate to high risk" sports taking place later in the school year, but that scenario is very preliminary at the moment.

The NYSPHSAA will await further guidance from the Board of Regents and NYSED to direct on the best possible way to proceed. Those organizations are expected to meet and release further guidance on or after July 13.

Zayas is hoping to have at least six weeks to prepare for a fall season once it is deemed safe to return to athletic activity. Currently, the fall sports season is slated to begin on August 24.

The next meeting for the COVID-19 Task Force is still to be determined, but the Task Force plans to discuss coronavirus testing and screening for student-athletes when it does meet again.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 422003

Reported Deaths: 32787
CountyConfirmedDeaths
New York City22834323592
Suffolk438931998
Nassau437242195
Westchester362721447
Rockland13954674
Orange11180491
Erie8987671
Monroe5002285
Dutchess4619153
Onondaga3602200
Albany2614128
Oneida2175115
Ulster207692
Niagara151298
Sullivan149048
Putnam144963
Broome114369
Schenectady107537
Rensselaer77030
Saratoga76717
Columbia54637
Madison41317
Ontario36234
Warren31233
Steuben30042
Orleans29854
Fulton29724
Greene29418
Genesee2795
Herkimer2774
St. Lawrence2634
Washington26014
Chautauqua2589
Oswego2553
Wayne2523
Tompkins2340
Chenango2186
Tioga19425
Montgomery1774
Chemung1763
Livingston1768
Cattaraugus1686
Cayuga1572
Jefferson1420
Clinton1294
Otsego1185
Wyoming1185
Delaware1064
Cortland950
Seneca913
Allegany801
Schoharie690
Yates577
Essex560
Franklin540
Lewis450
Schuyler220
Hamilton80
Unassigned00
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