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HIDOE Releases Guidelines to Allow Athletic Workouts

March 14, 2021, 9:30 AM HST
* Updated March 14, 8:30 AM
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The Hawaiʻi State Department of Education (HIDOE) released guidelines for safely restarting student athletic programming for high schools that meet certain criteria beginning last Monday.

“It is essential to the physical and mental well-being of students that they be able to return to athletic activities,” Deputy Superintendent Phyllis Unebasami said. “This is the first step in our gradual approach to restarting high school athletics in Hawaiʻi.”

The guidelines are aligned to the state Department of Health’s Guidance for Schools COVID-19 Learning Model Parameters. It is meant to be a guide for schools to use to ramp up athletic activities as appropriate. Schools have the discretion to plan for a phased restarting of activities to ensure the health and safety of students and staff.

High schools must meet two criteria in order to be eligible to start athletic workouts and practices which began on March 8:

  • The school must be delivering either an in-person or blended learning model of instruction.
  • The school’s athletic activity must align with where their respective island falls within DOH’s learning model matrix, based on daily average cases and positivity rate.

For all phases, in addition to standard health and safety procedures, the following guidelines must be followed:

  • Social distancing and mask wearing guidelines must be followed at all times.
  • Pre-workout/practice screenings must take place.
  • Gathering limitations must be in accordance with state and county orders.
  • Adequate cleaning schedules of facilities should be created and implemented for all athletic facilities to mitigate any communicable diseases.
  • Equipment should be wiped down thoroughly before and after use.
  • All students must bring their own water bottle; no hydration stations.
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The full guidance can be viewed here.

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The HIDOE plan applies to athletic workouts and practices only. The status of interscholastic competitions remains at the discretion of each island’s respective league association.

The plan was developed using information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Federation of High School Associations (NFHS), HIDOE Return to Learn School Reopening Plan: Health and Safety Handbook, and Hawaii State Department of Health Guidance for Schools COVID-19.

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