The OSAA has received questions or concerns from several school districts about the impact of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Oregon. We are taking guidance from the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and our Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC), and will continue to closely monitor this rapidly-changing situation. This memo is designed to provide information and resources to schools in order to keep participants, personnel, and spectators safe and informed.
We will continue to have frequent contact with the OHA and SMAC to determine if and when any additional measures, including decisions about modifying/postponing/cancelling any athletic/activity events, need to be taken.
The OSAA has also posted Coronavirus (COVID-19) information and resources to the Health & Safety section of its website under Additional Resources.
It’s critical that schools coordinate with their local public health authorities for guidance specific to their communities. OHA Local Public Health Authority Directory
Key Planning Considerations for Athletic/Activity Events
These are best practices schools should consider when preparing to host an athletic/activity event:
- Emphasize that participants, staff and spectators should stay away from the event if they feel unwell (have fever and cough).
- Prioritize that all frequently touched surfaces throughout the venue are properly cleaned prior to the event with approved disinfectants and that adequate cleaning supplies are available for use during the event.
- Provide easily accessible soap and water or alcohol hand-sanitizers and tissues in all venue common areas and consider having additional hand-sanitizer stations available to promote proper hand hygiene.
- Promote appropriate respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene practices prior to, and during, the event through signage and announcements. Visit the CDC’s Coughing and Sneezing Etiquette and Clean Hands Webpage for more information.
- Encourage spectators to spread out in the venue, when possible.
OHA Everyday Precautions
OHA officials recommend people in Oregon help themselves by taking everyday preventive precautions to reduce the risk of getting and spreading viral respiratory infections, including the flu, the common cold and COVID-19:
- Cover your mouth with a tissue, sleeve, or elbow (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze, and then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. It is especially important to clean hands after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after coughing sneezing or blowing your nose.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces that are often touched (cell phones, door handles, etc.).
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- If you are sick, stay home and seek medical care immediately if symptoms, such as high fever or difficulty breathing, become more severe. This will help to keep from spreading respiratory illness to others.
- Parents are advised to keep students home if they display any signs of illness.
- Build your body’s overall health resilience by eating well, exercising, getting plenty of rest, and staying up to date on vaccines. It’s recommended to get a flu vaccine each year and it is not too late to be vaccinated.
For more information about Coronavirus (COVID-19), please refer to these resources or call 211:
- Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Coronavirus Updates
- OHA Guidance on Preventing COVID-19
- CDC Coronavirus Information
- CDC Community Mitigation Guidance for COVID-19 Response
- CDC Interim Guidance for Schools to Plan, Prepare, and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
The OSAA will continue to monitor the situation and provide updated information as it becomes available. Please contact the OSAA office directly at 503.682.6722 with questions.