February 9, 2021: Some Glens Falls sports to resume/begin for four-week Winter season

February 9, 2021: Some Glens Falls sports to resume/begin for four-week Winter season; weekly COVID-testing and all-virtual instruction among requirements for student-athletes

The Glens Falls City Schools Board of Education voted 5-4 last night to allow basketball, cheerleading, and ice hockey to begin a 4-week shortened season under strict COVID-prevention rules. Student-athletes will be rapid-tested weekly by school nurses, and compete just 6-8 times with teams from Warren County only (with the exception of the combined ice hockey team, whose practices and schedule are yet to be determined). Higher-risk sport athletes will also shift to fully virtual instruction. Wrestling was not approved to begin, and remains on pause.

The Winter sports that have been on pause since late December – boys swimming, bowling, Alpine and Nordic skiing – will resume for the final 4 weeks of the season. Championships and post-season play in all sports have already been suspended by NYSPHSAA.

Practices won’t likely begin for any sport until Friday, Feb. 12th at the earliest, as several specific conditions must be met by student-athletes, families, and teams:

  • Each participating student-athlete on the swimming, hockey, and basketball teams will be required to switch to all-virtual learning, in order to reduce exposure to the larger student body
  • Each student-athlete and coach will be rapid-tested weekly by school nurses to guard against asymptomatic transmission of COVID
  • No spectators will be allowed at any competition, in any sport
  • Competitions will only occur against teams within Warren County, with the possible exception of ice hockey, which has been a combined GF-SGF-HF-Warrensburg team for several years. Further details to come.

Warren County’s metrics for higher-risk sports to resume require Warren County and/or the Capital Region to be at or below 4.0%. If COVID test positivity rates rise above 4.0% on any day, all higher-risk sports activities (in basketball, hockey, and cheerleading) will be immediately paused until metrics improve.

Warren County higher risk sports guidelines, linked below, include, but are not limited to, a series of requirements for schools before student-athletes can resume play:

  • Each school district’s Board of Education must approve the district’s participation in each specific higher-risk sport.
  • Each school superintendent/school leader must oversee the creation of a sport-specific preparedness plan, to be approved by the district’s medical director.
  • Each parent/guardian must sign an informed consent form.
  • Each student-athlete must have medical clearance from their healthcare provider.
  • Each parent/guardian, student-athlete, and school official must agree to fully cooperate with case investigations and contact elicitation and to adhere to isolation and quarantine orders.
  • Each district/school must establish a confidential phone number and email address to allow student-athletes, parents, or others to report concerns.

Should COVID test positivity rates rise above 4 percent on a specific day and a sports pause is required, it would take effect for the following day. Teams will be allowed to resume play when the metrics improve to 4.0 or below.

Find the full Warren County guidelines at warrencountyny.gov/news/warren-county-higher-risk-sports-guidelines.