When Richland County was designated as a Level 4 (Purple) county on December 3, 2020, the decision was made to pause all activities in the Shelby City Schools. This decision was made in conjunction with the Shelby Health Department. At that time there were a number of students who had tested positive for COVID-19 and an even larger number of students who were quarantined due to contact tracing. Since December 3rd, the District has had nearly daily discussions with the Shelby Health Department to develop a plan that would allow a safe return of activities. While we understand that this is an emotional decision, the District will always keep the safety and well-being of our students in the forefront.
Currently, the number of positive cases in the Shelby City School District are declining but the number of available hospital beds in Shelby and the surrounding area have decreased to nearly zero. It is imperative that we develop a plan to return to participation without causing the number of positive cases to spike again and potentially cause the number of hospitalizations to increase. Again in conjunction with the Shelby Health Department, we have determined the data does support allowing our athletes to return to participation and we have developed a plan that would allow competition to begin. We will continue to look at the COVID-19 data in both the City of Shelby and the Shelby City School District to make revisions as needed.
Below are the components of our plan that were developed in conjunction with the Shelby Health Department:
- Phase 1- began 12/10/2020
- Allow practices with modifications and no contests are permitted.
- Restrict team sizes and reintroduce small groups/pods
- Limit use of locker rooms
- Phase 2- begin 12/17/2020
- Contests will begin but no spectators will be permitted at any home event
- We are subject to the attendance policy of the host school, so it is possible that spectators will be permitted at away contests.
- Seek cooperation with opponent schools to minimize travel to away venues.
- Limit player and staff interaction with opposing team and game personnel only as required by the “Rules of the Game”
- Phase 3- TBD when this phase will begin
- Limit spectators at all home events to a maximum of 2 parents per participant
- Phase 4- TBD when this phase will begin
- Limit spectators at all home sponsored events to a level consistent with the current OHD order and OHSAA recommendations regarding in-door seating capacity
Some additional notes:
- Competition will be permitted to begin immediately. Until further notice, there will be no spectators permitted for any home contest, middle or high school. As we transition to a different phase, we will announce our ticket policy. We have been instructed by the Governor and OHSAA to limit the number of people in attendance and all variances to allow for more spectators have been declined.
- Attendance at away events is subject to the policy of the host school, so it may be possible for parents only to attend away events. The MOAC has set a policy of allowing only two (2) tickets per player for visiting teams. These tickets can only be used by a parent- no grandparent or sibling will be permitted to attend.
- Athletes, coaches and spectators are required to follow all health and safety protocols, including wearing masks, maintaining proper social distancing, and not congregating before or after events. Disciplinary action will occur to those who do not follow proper protocol. Spectators who do not follow protocol will be asked to leave the venue.
- Coaches will communicate any sport specific information to their athletes
- The Athletic Department will communicate any changes in ticketing policy. Passes/tickets that were purchased and unable to be used due to cancellation of home events will be reimbursed at the end of the season.
Please know that this plan is subject to change based on the number of reported cases in Shelby. Again, it is important to remember that the number of cases among Shelby students has declined, as well as the number of students quarantined in the past few weeks, hence our ability to return to competition at this time. As always, we will continue to work with the Shelby Health Department to monitor the numbers in Shelby and will make adjustments to this plan as necessary.
Thank you for your support and cooperation.
Superintendent, Shelby City Schools
Principal, Shelby High School
Athletic Director, Shelby City Schools