Fall COVID-19 Activities Mitigation General Guidance 

**Covid-19 & Mitigation Strategies are a fluid concern that we will continue to adjust/address as needs & concerns change**

Return To Learn — Competition

  • All schools, regardless of district/school Return to Learn plans, will be eligible to participate in IHSAA and IGHSAU sports programs. 

Academic Eligibility 

  • All students are considered academically eligible to begin fall sports in the 2020-21 school year. Regardless of the Return to Learn plan implemented, all students must be enrolled in at least four courses to be eligible. All other scholarship, open enrollment, and general transfer rules apply.

Pre-Participation Physicals 

  • As per the amendment issued by Governor Reynolds on June 25, all physicals signed on or after July 1, 2019 are good through December of 2020.

Transportation

  • Buses/Vans: Must be sanitized before & after trips
  • Buses/Vans: Masks will be worn at all times. One person per seat when possible. If space is available, students must sit every other seat. 
  • Parents/Guardians may transport their student(s) to/from events. An email to the coach/AD in advance is required.
  • Students may transport themselves to/from events. An email from the parent to the coach/advisor/AD in advance is required.
  • Parents/Students may only transport athletes residing in their household.

Contact Tracing

  • Students will be kept in pods or cohorts to the extent possible while at practice.
  • Public Health will notify the District if there is a positive case in the school.
  • The Superintendent will then communicate to all parents that a positive case was identified in building ‘X.’ Privacy laws [HIPPA; FERPA] prohibit the District from providing specific information that may identify the individual.
  • Contact tracing will be done for any individual determined to have been within 6’ of the positive case for at least 15 minutes; those individual parents will be contacted by the District and then by Public Health.
  • Parents are strongly encouraged to communicate with the school nurse if their child was exposed to a positive case away from school.
  • Parents will need to have all contact information updated in Power School during registration, including emergency contacts.
  • The Iowa Department of Public Health is developing guidance for county health departments and schools regarding protocols when a student and/or student-athlete reports COVID-19 symptoms, a positive COVID-19 test result, or contact with a person with a positive COVID-19 test result.

Health Screening

  • Per IHSAA & IGHSAU recommendations, students will continue to be screened for possible COVID-19 symptoms before taking part in extracurricular activities.  
  • Any individual reporting symptoms and/or a temperature of 100.4F or higher should be isolated until they can safely transport home.

Water

  • Each individual student should have their own water container & it should be clearly marked. 
  • If a hydration station (e.g., cooler) is provided, individuals must sanitize their hands before using the hydration station. An alternative practice is to assign one person to fill water bottles, and that person should wear a mask and protective gloves.
  • Host schools may provide a water source for visitors, but visitors should bring their own hydration station (cooler).

Athletic Fans/Spectators & Signage 

  • Individuals experiencing illness should not be on the premises, including but not limited to symptoms of Covid-19. Individuals who have been in contact with a confirmed diagnosis of Covid-19 in the last 14 days should not attend.
  • The Heart of Iowa Activities Conference has passed the following rules for Fall Athletics (applies to all NCSD activities events):
    • During NCSD Activities Events (home & away) a mask is required in common areas (entering the facility, purchasing concessions & using the restroom). Masks are not required while seated as a spectator. Please make sure you bring a mask with you to all conference events. 
    • Children & students in K-8 must be accompanied by a parent or adult during all events.
  • Football bleachers are limited to 50% capacity with alternate row seating. All children & students in grades PK-8th must be accompanied by a parent/guardian and kept in close proximity.  If attending home games, HS students are encouraged to sit/attend with family members. If students 9th-12th grade choose to sit in the area of the student section, face masks are required and opposite row seating will be strictly enforced by administration. If rules of the “student section” are not followed, additional restrictions may be enforced. Fans are encouraged to stand or bring lawn chairs for grass areas. Social distancing should be observed between households.  
  • Volleyball will have limited bleacher seating, including the elimination of the first two rows & 6’ around the scorers’ table. Any children & students in grades PK-8th must be accompanied by a parent/guardian and kept in close proximity.  If attending home games, HS students are encouraged to sit/attend with family members. If students in 9th-12th grade choose to sit in the area of the student section, face masks are required and opposite row seating will be strictly enforced.
  • All HS volleyball & football home games will be live-streamed (with an announcer for Varsity) when possible. Spectators are encouraged to view the games remotely.
  • At all NCSD activity events, any child & all students in PK-8th grade must be accompanied by a parent/guardian/adult and kept in close proximity.

Concession Stands

  • Concession stands will be available at home volleyball & football events & may have limited menu items. 
  • Fans:
    • Will maintain 6’ of social distance when using concession stand & are highly encouraged to wear face coverings when interacting with volunteers. Please follow signage & stand on social distancing dots. 
  • Booster Club (Concession Operators):
    • Will wear masks & gloves at all times. 
    • Will screen event staff for COVID-19 symptoms.
    • Clean and sanitize surfaces regularly. 
    • Will maintain social distancing while working the concession stand.
    • Will provide individual use condiments/will not provide multi-use products.

Team Meals/Food 

  • Team meals will follow concession stand guidance and the meal provider would need to be a licensed food service operator.
  • Pre-packaged individual meals (e.g.: Subway Meal Box) are acceptable to use for team meals. 
  • Licensed caterers are allowed to provide team meals. 
  • Parent groups will not be allowed to provide home cooked team meals on school premises. 
  • Eating will not be allowed on buses. 
  • Teams will not stop at restaurants or stop for food after away contests. Meals must be set up in advance or brought by the student’s immediate family. 

Training Rooms

  • All individuals utilizing the training room should wear a face mask at all times.
  • The host site athletic training room should not be available for visiting team pregame and postgame treatments.
  • If a team travels without an athletic trainer, all pregame taping, bracing, etc., should be completed before departure to the game. The host site athletic trainer should be contacted before the trip to plan for any requested accommodations.
  • All taping/exam tables should be disinfected before and after each use.
  • All taping/exam tables should be distanced at least 6’ apart.
  • Social distancing guidelines will be followed in & around the training room. No large groups/groups congregating. 

Participation Levels

  • This guidance is intended for high school varsity, sub-varsity, and junior high school activities as overseen by the IHSAA & IGHSAU.
  • Subvarsity and junior high sports are approved to resume IHSAA & IGHSAU activities in the 2020-21 school year.

Considerations for Parents 

  • Provide personal items for your child and clearly label them.
  • During home events & away conference events a mask is required in common areas (entering the facility, purchasing concessions & using the restroom). Masks are not required while seated as a spectator. Please make sure you bring a mask with you to conference events. 
  • Children & students K-8 must be accompanied by a parent or adult during all events. This includes as you enter the facility, while spectating, and while using the restroom and/or concession stand. 

Fall HS/MS Activities Individual Programs Guidance

 Choir & Band Concert Guidance:

  • K-12 Band & Choir Performances before Jan 1, 2021 have been postponed until after Winter Break. 

Marching Band Guidance:

Practice 

  • Band members will assemble instruments inside & go outside as soon as instruments are assembled. 
  • Maintain 6’ distance throughout rehearsal when possible.
  • Brass players bring a rag for your spit valve that you will keep.
  • Facemasks required when not playing. 
  • Hand sanitizer stations available but encourage them to bring their own sanitizer. 
  • Students must bring their own water to drink. 
  • There should be no physical contact during practice.
  • Will follow guidance from the Iowa State Dance & Drill Team Association. 

Football Performances 

  • The marching band will perform pregame, at halftime & during breaks during varsity football contests.
  • Social distancing will be practiced during marching band performances when possible. 
  • Band members will have bleacher seating on the high jump area during game performances. 

Dance Team Guidance:

  • Weather permitting, dance practices will be held outdoors. 
  • Dance routines will be selected keeping social distancing in mind and will limit physical contact between dancers. 
  • Masks recommended during dance practices. 
  • Will follow guidance from Iowa State Dance & Drill Team Association.
  • Judged performances may be delivered in a virtual form when necessary. 

Drama Guidance:

  • Drama will utilize a smaller cast for the fall play that will allow for multiple casts that practice at different times.
  • This will allow for:
    • Members of the multiple casts to implement a pod system that creates a lower impact to the Drama program if there is an individual positive COVID-19 case. 
    • Allows for individual cast members to ‘fill in’ for other casts in case of sickness/missing students. 
    • Allows for greater social distancing during practices & rehearsals. 
  • Drama performance selection will be able to be live-streamed.
  • The online ticketing system will utilize COVID-19 friendly auditorium seating. 

Rehearsals:

  • Students and directors should wash hands for 20 seconds prior to a rehearsal or thoroughly use disinfecting hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching the face, mouth, nose, and eyes.
  • Cover coughs or sneezes in the crook of the elbow.
  • Face shields and masks are recommended during rehearsal.
  • Social distancing during rehearsal and masks recommended when off stage. 
  • Each student should have their own clearly labeled water bottle. 
  • Weather permitting, theatre ensembles should choose to rehearse in an outdoor location when feasible. Outside the back door, middle school playground, under the awning of the concession stand, etc.
  • Directors should ensure that students make every effort to eliminate physical contact (e.g., kissing/swordplay) and minimize close proximity on stage. Follow the 6 foot/15 minute rule. 
  • Schedule actor calls in a way that minimizes contact and de-densifies the rehearsal room. Use of french scenes (grouped by who is on stage). 
  • Create separate stations in the rehearsal room for each actor’s belongings, props, script, and PPE items. 
  • Implement risk-reduction strategies for production work that must be done in close proximity, such as costume fittings, loading-trucks, set building, carrying heavy items, and putting microphones on actors. 

Production Phase

  • Microphones on actors- Mic only leading roles, each actor gets their own microphone and it is in a baggy- no sharing of microphones. 
  • Our ticketing system has a COVID ticketing system; it’s set to force spacing of at least 2 seats and 1 row between parties.
  • No traditional intermission. Keep shows to 90 minutes or under to not need bathroom breaks. 

Esports Guidance:

  • Social distancing will be observed during Esports practices & masks are recommended.
  • Esports equipment will be sanitized between each individual use. 
  • When possible, considerations will be given for ‘distance practices’ or practicing from home. 
  • Spectators will be limited or asked to watch live-streamed competitions. 

Cheerleading Guidance (HS & MS):

  • Cheerleading will practice outside when possible and maintain social distancing as much as possible. If the weather does not cooperate, cheerleading practice will take place in the HS Commons.
  • Cheerleaders should not attend practice if they feel sick.  They need to notify a coach prior to practice and will be excused until conditions improve or if quarantine is necessary.
  • Pending further guidance, the ICCA dictates that there will be no stunting.
  • All cheerleaders need to bring their own water jugs/bottles.  They can use the school fountains prior to practice. 
  • It is recommended that cheerleaders bring their own sanitizer to practice.
  • Masks are recommended for practice.
  • Cheerleaders will need their own set of poms that are clearly marked. Cheerleaders will not share poms, shoes or other equipment.
  • Equipment will be sanitized daily. 

Cross Country Guidance (HS & MS):

  • No hugging, shaking hands, spitting, or fist bumps.
  • Home cross country meet may consider using staggered, wave, or interval starts. 
  • When possible, home XC meet will widen the course to at least 6’ at its narrowest point.
  • If possible, home XC meet will widen the starting grids including skipping boxes at the starting line.
  • Home XC meet will use chip timing to avoid contact at the finish line.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and exercise equipment.
  • At home XC meet medals & ribbons will be given as the race finishes. There will not be an awards ceremony. Nevada XC students will not participate in awards ceremonies at away XC meets. 
  • XC Coaches will use workout pods to limit potential exposures during practices. 
  • XC Coaches will encourage social distancing at meets & in team camps. 
  • Each individual student-athlete should have their own water container.

Football Guidance:

HS Practice:

  • Stretching lines will be assigned. Players will need to try to stay 6’ apart. 
  • All team huddles will be a muddle huddle where players will receive instruction and announcements while maintaining approximately 6’ distance from each other and coaching staff.
  • For individual drills, players will be assigned to pods of roughly 5-10 players against whom they will always go during drills.  
  • Practice pods will be based on similar position groups and grade levels.  We can’t guarantee a player won’t ever drill against a player outside of his pod, but our staff will be intentional about making sure players practice in their pods.
  • JV2 will practice separately during team scrimmage portions of practice.  The separate scrimmage will include freshmen and some sophomores.  
  • JV2 and the varsity will rarely practice together.  
  • Scrimmage portions of practice will be mostly thud tempo.  We will rarely tackle or bring to the ground during practice unless during a controlled drill.  
  • Contact will occur during scrimmage portions of practice.  Sanitation will be available, and coaches will keep players in their assigned pods as much as possible.  
  • Locker room will be separated by grade level as much as possible.  We will also attempt to stagger lockers as much as possible.  
  • JV2 will be released 10 minutes before the varsity each practice and will have 10 minutes to change and leave the locker room.
  • The coaching staff will do their best to keep 6’ distance from other coaches and players to reduce the risk of exposure as much as possible.
  • Spitting is prohibited.

MS Practice: 

  • Stretching lines will be assigned (try to keep this similar to their practice pods), & players will need to try to stay 6’ apart. 
  • Practice pods will be based on similar position groups and grade levels.  We can’t guarantee a player won’t ever drill against a player outside of his pod, but our staff will be intentional about making sure players practice in their pods.
  • Locker room will be separated by grade level & supervised.
  • The coaching staff will keep 6’ distance at all times from other coaches and players to reduce the risk of exposure as much as possible.
  • Spitting is prohibited.
  • Players may wear a mask at practice during non-contact drills or if their mouthpiece is detached from their helmets.  Coaches will be encouraged to wear a mask during practice.

Practice/Sanitizing (MS & HS):

  • All players need to bring their own water jugs/bottles.  They may fill their water up at the field before practice while maintaining social distance.  They may also use the school fountains prior to practice.  
  • It is recommended that players also bring their own sanitizer to practice as well.
  • Players may wear a mask at practice during non-contact drills or if their mouthpiece is detached from their helmets.  
  • Coaches will be encouraged to wear a mask during practice.
  • Players should not attend practice if they feel sick.  They need to notify a coach before practice and will be excused until conditions improve or if quarantine is necessary. 
  • Any time a player reports flu symptoms, the head coach will notify the activities director.
  • Players will be directed to use hand sanitizer before and after practice or if they make contact with their face at any time during practice.
  • It is recommended that players keep their tooth and mouth protector in their mouths at all times when participating in drills. Each time they touch their tooth and mouth protector, they should sanitize their hands.
  • Players will be directed not to share personal or issued equipment. 
  • It is recommended players take their football equipment home each day and clean (wash practice clothing, wipe down issued equipment).
  • All shared equipment will be sanitized by the coaching staff at the end of practice.

HS & MS Games:

  • Stretching lines will be the same as practice while maintaining social distance.
  • (HS) All huddles will be a muddle huddle.  Plays/calls will be signaled by the coaching staff.
  • Players will be directed to use the full 80 yards allowed by the sideline’s restriction area and maintain distance. 
  • Locker room will be separated by grade level to the extent possible during away contests.
  • (HS) Travel rosters may change and be limited if necessary. 
  • No handshakes with the opponent before or after the match will be allowed.
  • Spitting is prohibited.

Volleyball Guidance:

MS/HS General: 

  • Athletes who feel sick or who have been exposed should not attend practice or competition. If a student is experiencing symptoms, they should communicate with their coach immediately.
  • Players are encouraged to bring their own sanitizer.
  • Players will have their own water bottle. 
  • Nevada student-athletes will not participate in regular-season ‘awards ceremonies’ after tournaments. 

 HS/MS Practice and Weight Room Procedures:

  • Athletes will be expected to sanitize their hands before practice, during water breaks, and after practice.
  • All equipment will be sanitized after each practice.
  • Masks will be encouraged,
  • Players will continue to weightlift in pods to maintain contact tracing.
  • Teams will be split up for practices whenever possible. 
  • (HS) Saferoom will be used during some practice time to improve social distancing. 
  • (HS) Players will practice progression and combo drills within their team level to limit the potential for program spread.

HS Pre-Match Procedures:

  • The coin toss will be limited to one coach and one captain. Face coverings are strongly encouraged at the coin toss meeting.
  • Teams will provide their own balls for warm-up times. These will be transported on the bus. 
  • There will be no off-court warm-ups allowed during the opponent’s court time. (Home competitions could allow for off-court warm-ups to take place in the safe room during this time.)
  • No handshakes with the opponent before or after the match will be allowed.

HS/MS Match Guidelines:

  • (HS) Home varsity matches will have both sides of bleachers available to allow crowds to socially distance. 
  • Teams will not switch benches during a match.
  • Players will be allowed to stand at the end of the bench to promote social distancing.
  • Players must sanitize their hands before and after warmups, during every timeout, between sets and every time they are subbed off of the court.
  • There will be a 3 ball rotation to allow for sanitation during matches.
  • The following are allowed to be worn as part of a player’s uniform:
    • Cloth Face Covering
    • Gloves
    • Long Sleeves
    • Long Pants

HS Home Tournament Guidelines:

  • Extra tables will be provided to create social distancing at the score table for scoring, libero tracking & scoreboard. 
  • Line judges will be masked.
  • Each team will be given a classroom as their home base for the tournament.
  • There will not be a hospitality room.
  • Limited concessions will be available.
  • MS gym will be utilized instead of safe room for spectator safety. 
  • Electronic results will be produced/Elimination of Paper Results & congregation of fans to view results.