Restore Chester County
Business & Org Toolkit — Sports and Recreation
The reopening and mitigation guidelines below are part of Restore Chester County's Business & Org Toolkit and apply to the sports and recreation sector.
Click on each key topic below to find best practices for this sector compiled from federal, state and county guidelines and vetted by state and local health departments, businesses and municipalities. In addition, the chart provided here is an overview of Pennsylvania regulations for reopening through the red, yellow and green phases as they compare to CDC regulations. Leaders from Chester County's various sectors have indicated that these are the topics of highest concern at this point. We welcome your feedback as we continue to make updates.
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Overview (Updated 7/16/20) +
Universal Face Covering Requirement: Coaches, athletes, spectators, and/or activity participants must wear face coverings unless they are outdoors and can consistently maintain social distancing. Athletes are not required to wear face coverings while actively engaged in workouts and competition that prevent the wearing of face coverings, but must wear face coverings when on the sidelines, in the dugout, etc. and anytime social distancing is not possible.
- Do not wear face coverings in situations that will cause it to get wet, but take extra precaution to social distance in these situations
- Exceptions to this rule include: staff cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition, cannot remove a mask without assistance, or are communicating with someone who must see their mouth, such as a camper who is hearing impaired.
According to Pennsylvania's Phased Reopening Plan, Department of Health guidance, state guidance (May 27, June 10 FAQ Updates, June 10 Guidance), and county guidance:
During the "Red" phase
- Professional sports ("sporting events at which participants are paid or individuals receive prizes/purse") are prohibited.
- Non-professional, organized sports ("physical activity directed by adult or youth leaders that involves rules and formal practice and competition") are prohibited.
- Public bathing places and outdoor community pools may not operate.
- Any indoor recreation (bowling, arcades, racquetball and other indoor sports, go-kart/racing, laser tag, pool halls, trampoline facilities, indoor mini golf, and similar facilities) is prohibited.
- Any outdoor recreation (golf, boating, horse riding, tennis, archery/shooting, outdoor mini golf, mountain biking, motorsports venues, go carts, rock climbing, disc golf, paintball, and similar facilities) is prohibited.
During the "Yellow" phase
- Professional sports may practice and play without spectators if the team has a COVID-19 safety plan approved by the Department of Health (DOH).
- Non-professional, organized sports may begin practices, but not competition or games.
- Public bathing places and outdoor community pools will be permitted to operate at 50% capacity.
- Outdoor recreation may resume but may not use indoor spaces other than for restrooms, ticketing, and entry locations. Online ticketing and timed entry are strongly encouraged.
- Indoor recreation operation will remain prohibited.
During the "Green" phase
- Professional sports organizations in the Green phase are permitted to practice or play on site with fewer than 250 people. If the team wants to play or practice with more than 250 people on site, the team must submit a safety plan to the DOH. Spectators/fans are strongly discouraged.
- Non-professional, organized sports may resume competition/games and continue practices.
- Outdoor recreation, public bathing places, and outdoor community pools may continue operation.
- Indoor recreation may operate at 50% capacity with appointments strongly encouraged.
Operation of any sports or recreation is voluntary. The CDC's Considerations for Youth Sports or Guidance for Parks and Recreational Facilities should be referenced to assess risk.
These materials and any related updates are provided and intended for general public informational purposes and guidance. While intended to be timely and accurate, please note that federal and state regulations and directives are changing often. To that extent, please continue to monitor this site for any significant modifications and developments.
Employer or Coach Tips and Guidelines +
- Ensure that visitors practice social distancing (at least 6 feet) at all times possible and do not congregate at entry gates, kiosks, concession stands, or similar locations.
- Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as frequently as possible or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Regularly clean and disinfect high-contact surface areas.
- Any staff and other adult personnel should wear face coverings (masks or shields) at all times.
- Screen and monitor participants for symptoms prior to and during activities. If individuals show symptoms or have a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher, they must be sent home.
- Participants must bring their own water to any activities. Water coolers for sharing through disposable cups are not allowed. Fixed water fountains should not be used.
- Avoid shaking hands, fist bumps, or high fives before, during or after activities.
- All equipment and personal items should be separated and not shared. If equipment must be shared, it should be properly disinfected between users.
- Clean and disinfect facilities between groups, games, or activities.
- Prepackaged or boxed food should be used rather than a buffet or self-serve from a congregate bowl of snacks.
- Limit cash transactions whenever possible; find alternative ways to charge admission and pay for concessions.
- Create protocols to limit entrance and exit traffic, designating specific entry to and exits from facilities.
- Attendees should not carpool; if unavoidable, limit to members of the same household or require the use of masks while carpooling.
- Provide signage and reminders about healthy behaviors, proper hand hygiene, how to wear a face covering.
- Stagger use of indoor facilities when possible and disinfect between groups of users.
- Monitor state guidance for updates, as further updates may impact fall, winter, or spring seasons.
- Develop a COVID-19 safety plan
- Professional Sports: plans submitted to the DOH must include, at minimum, a process for testing or screening for COVID-19 and monitoring all on-premises attendees.
- Collegiate Sports: institutions must develop and post online an Athletic Health and Safety Plan.
- Pre-K to 12 Sports: school entities must develop an Athletic Health and Safety Plan that is approved by the local governing body and posted online.
- Limit games, scrimmages, and matches to teams in your region first. Expand beyond regional play if cases continue to stay low.
- Spectators, parents, volunteers and nonessential staff must remain outside the practice area.
- Gatherings' occupancy counts include athletes, coaches, athletic staff, officials, spectators, site staff, and any other individuals on site during the event.
- As much as possible, focus on individual skill building versus competition and limit contact in close contact sports.
- Designate a point of contact for COVID-19 questions and provide his or her contact information.
- During down time, athletes and coaches should not congregate, including in locker rooms, sidelines, dugouts, benches, and workout areas.
- Activities that increase the risk of exposure to saliva must not be allowed including chewing gum, spitting, licking fingers, and eating sunflower seeds.
- Prioritize and use outdoor practices as much as possible. For any indoor practices, cross reference guidelines with applicable Gyms and Wellness Facilities guidelines.
How Employees Can Protect Themselves +
- Self-monitor your temperature every morning. Employees who have a temperature exceeding 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit should stay home and notify their supervisor.
- If you are sick or have allergies and sneezing, stay home. If someone at home is sick, stay home.
- Wear face covering when out in public and maintain physical distancing.
- Wash your hands when you arrive at work, before/after eating and breaks, after touching your face or face covering, and before you leave work.
- Let your employer know if you have concerns about the PPE that may be provided to you.
- Carry a towel. If you get the urge to sneeze or cough, cover your nose, mouth and mask, attempt to delay the urge to sneeze or cough, immediately leave the building, wash your hands and face thoroughly before going back to work.
If an Employee or Athlete Tests Positive +
- If the individual receives a positive test notification while at work, follow established Human Resources policy. If the individual receives a positive test notification while NOT at work, the individual should follow established Human Resources policy, stay home and self-isolate in accordance with Chester County Health Department guidance.
- Close off areas visited by the positive individual. Refer to the CDC's general cleaning & disinfecting guidance and guidance in facilities where someone is sick.
- Determine who had contact with the positive individual during the time the individual had symptoms as well as 48 hours prior to symptoms. Notify employees who were in close contact with the confirmed individual while maintaining confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
- People who had close contact must self-quarantine for 14 days from the date of last contact with the positive individual.
- "Close contact" is defined as having contact for more than 15 minutes, at a distance of 6 feet or less, with a positive individual.
- Individuals may discontinue home isolation and return to work under the following conditions:
- At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since your fever went away without the use of fever-reducing medication
- AND improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath)
- AND At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
- After returning to work, individuals should:
- Wear a facemask at all times while at work until all symptoms are completely resolved or until 14 days after illness onset, whichever is longer.
- Be restricted from contact with individuals at a higher risk (e.g., older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness).
- Adhere to hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, and cough etiquette (e.g., cover nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, dispose of tissues in waste receptacles).
- Self-monitor for symptoms. Seek immediate re-evaluation from occupational health/primary care provider and do not work if symptoms recur or worsen.
- The Chester County Health Department will be notified of all confirmed cases through established disease reporting protocols and will follow-up with the individual appropriately. Contact the Chester County Health Department at 610-344-6225.
Supporting Customers and Participants +
- If you are sick, have a temperature above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, if someone in your house is sick, or if you have allergies and can't control sneezing, stay home.
- Remember social distancing requirements. Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from other participants/athletes/employees at all times possible.
- Seating areas must adhere to social distancing requirements of at least 6 feet for anyone not in the same household. These areas should be clearly marked.
- Those in attendance should wear face coverings (masks or face shields) at all times possible.
- Spectators should not enter any field of play, bench areas, or activity areas.
- Nonessential visitors, spectators, and volunteers should be limited when possible.
- Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as frequently as possible, or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Cover coughs or sneezes with a sleeve or elbow, not hands.
- Do not shake hands, fist bump, high five, or engage in other unnecessary contact.
Along with best practices outlined here and in our Business Toolkit, individual business and organization sectors will be following further guidance. Click below to learn more on how they're preparing.