On Saturday, the Ohio Department of Health extended an order regarding the resumption of athletics.
To say that the order is polarizing would be an understatement.
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In regards to contact sports -- which are defined as football, basketball, rugby, field hockey, soccer, lacrosse, wrestling, hockey, boxing, futsal and martial arts with opponents -- the ODH has ruled that in addition to monitoring for symptoms, a COVID-19 test must be administered to each athlete and team staff member participating in the competition no more than 72 hours prior to the start of the competition. The results of the tests must be in hand prior to the start of the competition.
Additionally, the ODH has ruled that spectators aren't currently permitted to attend any competitions for contact sports. You can read the ODH's full guidance regarding the resumption of sports amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic here.
The ODH's extension of the order came one day after the Ohio High School Athletic Association reaffirmed its plans to move forward with its fall sports seasons. Shortly after the ODH extended its order, the OHSAA released a statement seeking clarification and asking for modifications relating to safety protocols and spectators.
It also didn't take long for those on social media -- including fans and parents -- to weigh in on the ODH's protocols, which could threaten the viability of fall sports seasons for many districts across the state, some of which have already opted to at least pause their school activities.
Additionally, many have taken to social media to share a petition calling for OHSAA athletes to be excluded from mandatory testing.