2020-21 DPS athletics to resume in October with “soft opening” for two sports
UPDATE | MONDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2020 | Here are more details about the soft opening of athletics at DPS. | READ MORE: http://bit.ly/DPSAthleticsUpdate10-26-20
October 22, 2020: The Durham Public Schools Board of Education voted 5-2 to approve the “soft opening” of two sports—cross-country and volleyball—during Thursday night’s meeting.
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.
“We’re extremely excited for our student-athletes to have a sense of normalcy with the return of athletics,” said David Hackney, Director of Athletics, Health and Physical Education, & Drivers Education. “We appreciate the school board for allowing this opportunity.”
DPS will begin with cross-country and volleyball starting workouts the week of October 26 and having the first sporting event on November 16. If successful, DPS will consider allowing other sports to begin this process of reopening.
The plan accounts for the possibility of a COVID-19 resurgence and for risks or 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 personal protective equipment (PPE) being worn, reduced transportation capacity, 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.
The full re-opening plan can be found within the Thursday night meeting agenda starting on page 216.