Although extended restrictions for Indiana restaurants, bars and entertainment venues, and other ongoing concerns over the coronavirus remain in place it will not hamper students’ return to school sports and activities next week.
The state’s reopening plan had called for Indiana to lift nearly all coronavirus restrictions this weekend. Worries about a possible increase in coronavirus cases across the state prompted Governor Eric Holcomb to keep those restrictions in place until at least July 18th.
Extracurricular and co-curricular activities, however, can resume as planned Monday, according to the governor’s office. In the guidance provided by the Indiana Department of Education, that return is expected to happen in three stages, each providing more liberties to student participants and spectators.
The Indiana High School Athletic Association announced off-season fall workouts will begin today, although athletes are limited to 15 hours per week on a school campus until at least July 19th which is the anticipated end of the first returning phase.
During this period, locker rooms can’t be used, formal competition is discouraged and there should be no contact in practiced sports, according to state recommendations. Sports teams will be allowed two activity days a week, limited to three hours per day. Conditioning will be limited to four days a week at two hours per session. Pools can be used, but schools are encouraged to work with state and local officials to create a plan for reopening recreational water facilities.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to unfold, state officials and school leaders warn that the return to sports and other activities could be delayed. And even after those activities start up, they could be put on hold once the academic year begins.
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