ATLANTA — On Thursday, the GHSA announced a massive step forward, teams and athletes with coaches present can begin voluntary workouts on June 8.
“Safety is going to be our top priority,” Georgia High School Association Executive Director Dr. Robin Hines told 11Alive Sports on Friday.
Hines said there will be groups of no more than 20 at a time and social distancing must be implemented. Those are just some of the several rules listed in a lengthy safety outline.
“They’ve been de-conditioning, and so it’s time to start conditioning," Hines said. "We’re excited that we can do something and hopefully some of the restrictions will be lifted quickly."
What happens next? When it comes to actual testing for the coronavirus, that’s not something the GHSA said it can make readily available.
“That would be a local issue," Hines said. "That’s why we suggest that they all have an infectious disease prevention plan in place."
In that plan, GHSA said it expects schools to have guidelines for what to do if someone were to test positive for COVID-19.
“How are we going to quarantine? Who are we going to quarantine? Those are the things that need to be included in those plans,” Hines explained.
Dr. Hines said that one of the reasons he suggested a return in June was that he saw more 7-on-7 competitions popping up through out the state, none of which had proper social distancing protocols in place.
“I get a call that there are one hundred high schools doing seven-on-sevens. There are seven schools out there represented and a bunch of college players, there’s no coaches. They just want to get out there and compete,” Hines said.
We still have three more months until high school football is supposed to kick off its 2020 season. A lot can change, but just getting the student athletes back on campus, Hines said, is something everyone is very excited about.
“There’s a long way to go, but just to get those kids in there and get them conditioning that’s the first step," he said.
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