DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Durham Public Schools voted 4-3 to lift a restriction on sports among its student-athletes, signaling a return to play.
The district’s board authorized the beginning of practice for basketball and cheerleading in Thursday’s meeting.
Conditioning for men’s soccer, men’s and women’s lacrosse and football have also been authorized to start.
The phased schedule for reopening would be as follows:
|Sport||Phase I(Up to 2 days)||Phase II/III(Up to 5 days)||Season Start Date First Day of Practice||First Contest|
|Basketball||N/A||N/A||Dec. 14||Jan. 4|
|Cheerleading||N/A||N/A||Dec. 14||Jan. 4|
|Soccer (M)||Dec. 14||Dec. 21||Jan. 11||Jan. 25|
|Lacrosse (M&W)||Dec. 14||Dec. 21||Jan. 11||Jan. 25|
|Football||Dec. 14||Jan. 25||Feb. 8||Feb. 26|
This decision comes after the North Carolina High School Athletic Association authorized the return to athletics competition under carefully controlled circumstances.
With input from athletic directors, coaches, and principals, the DPS Athletics Comprehensive Re-Opening Plan was developed to provide a safe and healthy environment for student-athletes while pursuing their academic goals at home.
The plan accounts for the possibility of a COVID-19 resurgence and for risks of overtraining and injury due to a rapid return to play.
All state and local restrictions and guidelines will be followed, and safety measures will be taken including wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) being worn, reducing transportation capacity, participating in daily health screenings, frequent cleaning, and disinfecting of equipment and spaces, and reduced capacity of facilities.
Locker rooms will be closed in the early phases and training rooms are closed until further notice. The plan restricts non-conference games to border counties.
During the beginning phases, no fans will be allowed at indoor or outdoor events. If and when fans are allowed to attend events, tickets will be distributed online and in person, there will be separate entries and exits, six-foot social distancing markers will be placed in spectator seating areas and at entries, and masks will be required.
Sports started to return in Wake County back in October.
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