Sports and Recreation

Authorization for High-Risk Sports to Begin February 1st


In consultation with our districts and in accordance with NYS DOH Guidelines, Franklin County Public Health authorizes high-risk sports to begin on February 1st. As responsible parties, schools/organizations must strictly adhere to the Interim Guidance for Sports and Recreation During The CQVID-19 Public Health Emergency Guidelines as amended by NYS DOH on January 22, 2021.

"After careful consideration, conversations, and thorough review of the updated Interim Guidance for Sports and Recreation during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, acknowledging the important role sports can play in childhood development and achievement, student athletes may participate in higher risk sports beginning February 1, 2021," stated Katie Strack, Director of Public Health for Franklin County.

Examples of higher risk sports include, football, wrestling, ice hockey, rugby, basketball, contact lacrosse, volleyball, martial arts, and competitive cheer/dance.

This guidance does not direct schools or organizations to initiate high risk sports. The resumption of these activities does not mean they are safe or without risk but provides an approach for decision making for the schools, organizations, parents or guardians.

Schools/organizations need to make initial determination if they want to engage in high risk sports. Once they do they will need to do the following:

  • Follow all NY State/CDC/FCPHS guidelines and recommendations.
  • 7 Districts in our County present us with one unified plan that has been approved by their medical director at each school.
  • Provide us with resolutions from all school district's Board of Education approving the plans.
  • Incorporate in the Plan that they have a testing plan in place and the ability to secure tests.
  • Provide us with a plan in each school where they will have positive COVID 19 investigators and contact tracers.
  • It is strongly recommended that competition between schools occur in-county only but if they decide to go out of county, it is preferred to be with Clinton, Essex, St Lawrence only at this time.
  • Parents/ student waivers acknowledging the risks.
  • Attestations from the schools that the plans will be followed.

We would follow a similar structure for intercollegiate and community sports.

You can read a copy of the FCPHS guidelines on the full press release here.

To view more COVID-19 related news, please visit our COVID-19 Guidance page.