ASHLAND, Ore--- Sports courts and swimming pools will be allowed to reopen when local counties enter phase two of reopening.
Governor Kate Brown and the Oregon Health Authority detailed new guidelines on Wednesday during a press conference.
During the press conference, Governor Brown said that some recreational sports will be allowed to resume in a limited fashion.
Sports courts were allowed to resume during phase one of reopening with specific safety protocols in place. In phase one, everyone using the court was required to stay six feet apart. Now, people in the same party do not have to meet those distance guidelines. Anyone in a different party must still remain six feet apart.
The following guidelines are in place for league sports:
- Take steps so that there is only contact among participants/players needed to play the game. This includes refraining from handshakes, high fives, fist/elbow bumps, chest bumps and group celebrations.
• Space out player equipment to prevent players coming into direct contact with one
• Encourage players to use only their own equipment when feasible. Avoid or minimize
equipment sharing, when feasible.
- Some critical equipment may not be available to each player. When it is necessary to share critical or limited equipment, all surfaces of each piece of shared equipment must be cleaned and disinfected frequently, as appropriate for the sport (e.g. between players, sets, periods, or games). Use disinfectants that are included on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved list for the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. No product will be labeled for COVID19 yet, but many products will have a label or information available on their websites about their effectiveness for human coronavirus.
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- Clean all equipment that directly contacts the head, face and hands with extra
attention and detail.
• Encourage players or their family members to clean and disinfect equipment after each
use, where feasible.
• Allow only trainers, coaches and players to attend practices to ensure physical
distancing and prevent people from gathering.
• Train or play outside if it can be done safely, when it does not violate any local
ordinances. Schedule enough time between practices and games so all people from a
previous practice can leave the premises before the next group enters. This minimizes
gathering at entrances, exits and restrooms.
• Require people to enter the premises through a designated entrance and exit through a
designated exit. Do not block fire exits. Use signs to direct one-way flow of traffic.
Consider scheduling and staggering arrival times to the premises to minimize large
numbers of individuals arriving and exiting at the same time.
• Stay outside of the premises (e.g. in vehicles) until scheduled practice or play time. This
allows people to leave the premises before entering and minimizes gathering.
Encourage players and players’ families to do the same.
You can find the full sanitation guidelines for sports courts and leagues here.
The Ashland Family YMCA opened on June 1, 2020, and says that with all of the restrictions in place, youth sports will most likely still be limited to clinic like sessions.
"There are certain sports and activities that we can run that have more of a clinic feel to it, skill-building," said Ashland Family YMCA CEO Dan Crocker. "But with the inability to really interact, there are not many sports that don't have that opportunity to come into direct contact with somebody."
Swimming pools will be allowed to open in limited use as well. Swimming pools and sports courts share a section of the Oregon Health Authority guidelines, which can be found here.
Pools must a plan developed that limits the number of people in the pool to stay six feet apart. Operators may consider requiring reservations to limit the number of individuals in the pool.
Only one swimmer is aloud in a lane at a time.
Pool decks must also be altered to ensure that users can keep six feet of physical distancing.
Even though swimming pools may be allowed to open by Friday, the Ashland Family YMCA will most likely not have the pools ready until the following week.
"We have had our aquatics staff team has obviously been redeployed to other areas until we knew that pools are going to be open, and it limits what we can do but it gives us the flexibility to safely do a number of activities in the water just like we would do on land."