The COVID-19 pandemic has required schools to continually re-evaluate health and safety practices. In early December the school district imposed spectator limits on school events in response to high rates of quarantine among the school community. Quarantine rates in the school community have dropped considerably as local infection rates have declined. Consequently, the 2-spectator limit is being removed. Additional important details include:
- Air circulation in the high school gymnasium has been modified. The intake of outside air has been increased to shorten the replacement time for inside air, increasing indoor air quality. A consequence of this change is that the inside air temperature may be lower than normal.
- Heuvelton Central School purchased a school subscription to NFHS Network, which allows the public to stream Heuvelton home basketball games at no charge during the regular basketball season. Information on accessing games will be shared publicly as soon as it is available. Families and community members are encouraged to watch games remotely.
- All fire code spectator limits remain unchanged and will be enforced, so attendance limits remain in place.
- Universal masking mandates remain in place for schools and will be enforced.
We are excited to play host to the Brady and Gutterson basketball tournaments, and we welcome families and community members in support of the players. We appreciate and expect a community focus on good sportsmanship and good health.
People with the symptoms listed below may have COVID-19, should not attend games, and should seek a COVID-19 test:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
For the current winter athletic season, the Heuvelton Central School District will continue to implement requirements for athletes and spectators that align with the recommendations of federal, state and local health professionals.
The Interim NYSDOH Guidance For Classroom Instruction in P-12 Schools During the 2021-2022 Academic Year mandates that all students, personnel, teachers, administrators, contractors, and visitors must wear masks at all times indoors, regardless of vaccination status.
Per this guidance, all athletes and spectators in attendance at Heuvelton Central School District athletic events must wear masks, regardless of vaccination status. Spectators should physically distance themselves from non-family members.
State officials have provided the following information regarding specific protocols for masking during indoor sports:
DOH’s guidance does make some accommodation for indoor sports where masking is not possible, but with the caveat that individuals must be distanced 6 feet apart, but otherwise participants must wear masks. Masking is not required for outdoor sports. Unlike some prior guidance, CDC’s most recent masking guidance does not make an exception for school sports/activities where masking may not be “tolerable” to a participant, unless the participant has an ADA recognized disability. In fact, the CDC guidance recommends masking for activities in the same manner as for regular classroom/in school.
Therefore, if individuals are participating in indoor sports and it is not possible for them to wear masks, they must maintain at least 6 feet physical distancing at all times when unmasked. If it is not possible for them to wear masks and not possible to maintain 6 foot distancing at all times, then that individual should not participate in the event. Obviously keep in mind that the CDC currently recommends that high risk-sports in areas with high community spread should not occur unless all participants are fully vaccinated. That is not currently a state requirement, but since CDC recommends canceling these events, taking an abundance of caution so that they can occur is preferred.
With additional questions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, we encourage you to to visit the St. Lawrence County Public Health website or call their office at (315) 386 2325.