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CIAC releases winter sports season guidance for COVID-19

CIAC is urging coaches and players to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the flu to avoid outbreaks.

CONNECTICUT, USA — With the pandemic still affecting the country and schools, the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) has released its winter guidance.

The CIAC, CT Department of Health, and The Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS) Sports Medicine Committee is urging players and coaches to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the flu. Currently, ages five and up can get vaccinated for COVID-19 with the Pfizer vaccine. They're also urging eligible family members to get vaccinated. 

"Vaccination of all eligible athletes, coaches, and officials is currently the most important mitigation strategy we have available for preventing COVID-19 and flu outbreaks on youth sports teams, and in the surrounding communities that support them," CIAC said in their guidance. 

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With masks, CIAC said in consultation with CT DPH and CSMS, schools should continue to use the mask recommendations that have been in place for the fall athletic season until their final scheduled in-person school day for the fall semester. Once students are dismissed for the winter holiday break, schools may begin to utilize, at their discretion, the revised masking rules for the winter sports season. 

Click here for the full table of guidance and requirements for the various available winter sports. 

CIAC said that interscholastic athletic competition is not a source of significant COVID-19 spread.

According to CIAC, allowing fully vaccinated student-athletes to participate in high-intensity competitive experiences without wearing a mask does not change the CIAC position that masks would be work indoors at all times in non-competitive and indoor activities. 

Masks are required on buses in accordance with the CDC order requiring mask use on public transportation, including school buses.

Fully vaccinated students and staff who are in close contact with a known COVID-19 case do now have to quarantine from sports or other activities provided they remain asymptomatic, according to CIAC. However, it's recommended that the individuals still wear a mask while around others while indoors until they receive a negative COVID-19 test. 

Head here to read the entire guidance document.

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Jennifer Glatz is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. She can be reached at jglatz@fox61.com.  

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