THOMASVILLE — The Georgia High School Association (GHSA) announced on Thursday that high school teams and athletes can begin summer workouts June 8. 

The GHSA provided guidelines to schools amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Some of the  guidelines include:

1) All summer work is voluntary.

2) Schools/school systems may be more restrictive than the GHSA but not less.

3) Workouts are conditioning only. No balls or sport specific equipment may be used.

4) Member schools should prepare an Infectious Disease Prevention Plan prior to staff and athletes returning to conditioning.

5) It is recommended that staff and athletes are screened prior to each workout.

6) Signage should be posted on site with the following: Do you or have you had a fever in the last week? Have you been diagnosed with COVID-19? Have you been in contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19? Have you traveled to a “hot spot” for COVID-19? If the answer is yes to any of the questions, the athlete should not participate in any workouts for a 14-day period.

7) Groups of 20, including coaches, for workouts per sport at any given time at the campus/facility. Groups should be the same individuals (including coaches) for each session to limit risk of exposure. 

8) No use of locker rooms.

9) Weight equipment should be cleaned prior to each workout and sanitized between use by each student.

10) Hand sanitizer should be plentiful and readily available.

11) At least 15 minutes should be scheduled between groups to follow for disinfecting the facility.

12) There is no competition allowed between schools.

13) Social distancing should be adhered to always and masks/face covering are recommended for the weight room.

GHSA Executive Director Robin Hines issued a letter to all member schools. Part of it read:

“Finally, ensure that your school and system leadership are aware of this guidance and have the opportunity to provide input into your plan to move forward with conditioning and for preparing and maintaining your facilities. Keep in mind that member schools may be more restrictive than the guidance but may not be less restrictive. There has never been a time more critical for athletic departments, school administration and system level administrators to work together.”

Football coaches have already missed spring practices since the GHSA announced on April 2 that all sports activities would be canceled for the rest of the semester. This came a day after Gov. Brian Kemp announced he was closing schools for the final two months.

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