Upper Milford Youth Association

Disease Prevention and Protection Guidelines

Upper Milford Youth Association

Disease Prevention and Protection Guidelines

Due to the current pandemic facing our nation, the Upper Milford Youth Association has adopted the following policy for the mitigation of, prevention of and protection from the spread of contagious illnesses.

Disclaimer: Participants, parents, family, guardians and spectators choosing to engage in activities lead by the Upper Milford Youth Association (UMYA) do so with knowledge of the risk and potential exposure to pathogens out of the control of UMYA. By participating in UMYA events, individuals agree to accept any and all risks to their personal health.

Principles:

There are a number of ways to lower the risk of exposure and spreading contagious illnesses in youth sports. In most cases, youth sports require interaction between players, coaches, trainers, officials and families. The more interaction between individuals, the higher the risk will become. Interactions can range from minimal contact such as passing a soccer ball from a distance up to, but not limited to, close quarter contact such as a runner sliding into home plate with a catcher defending. Therefore, some activities are considered higher risk than others. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has released a list of hierarchy of risk in youth sports as such:

  • Lowest Risk: Performing skill-building drills or conditioning at home, alone or with family members.
  • Increasing Risk: Team-based practice.
  • More Risk: Within-team competition.
  • Even More Risk: Full competition between teams from the same local geographic area.
  • Highest Risk: Full competition between teams from different geographic areas.

If individuals and families are concerned by the risk involved in such activities, it is recommended that they choose alternate UMYA sport specific options or abstain from organized UMYA sports. Coordinators of UMYA sports may be able to offer suggestions for at-home/ individual training for those unable/unwilling to participate in group activity. The CDC suggests that special consideration must be made for individuals within the high-risk health category. It is the responsibility of the participant to make such decisions for themselves. UMYA is not qualified to evaluate the safety of high-risk participants. If a person is unsure of their health, he/she must consult a medical professional such as a primary care provider or specialist.

Assessing Risk

The following criteria will factor into the level of risk inherent in Upper Milford Youth Sports:

  • Physical Proximity- most sports require frequent closeness or contact of players. Play may need to be modified to limit the duration of closeness and contact. Close quarters such as dugouts and sidelines are also difficult areas in which to avoid contamination. Plans shall be put in to place to avoid extended contact between individuals when not competing.
  • Shared Gear- many sports require the use of shared equipment. A single soccer ball is used by 22 soccer players and 1-3 referees on a fill sized soccer field. Other examples of shared equipment are a baseball, catcher's gear, bats, kickball, and basketball. It is important for the organization and participants to take steps to mitigate the need of shared equipment at training events and competitions. Special measures will be taken to disinfect shared materials whenever possible.
  • Age of Participant- Older youth players are more able to understand the need to keep space than their younger counterparts. It will be necessary for adults to educate and supervise the players in sanitation efforts.
  • Number of Participants- The larger the number of players on a roster, the higher the risk of contamination may be. Decreased roster sixes may be considered.
  • Non-Essential Visitors, Spectators and Volunteers- At this time, steps will be taken to lower the number of interactions between individuals at all UMYA events.
  • Travel outside the community- Some UMYA sports teams re required to leave the home fields and compete in neighboring communities. It is important to be aware of all rules and guidelines being enforced at all locations of UMYA activities. Extended distance travel is not recommended during times of high illness volatility.

Decreasing Risk

UMYA will follow these guidelines in effort to maintain the utmost safety of our participants.

  • Staying home when appropriate
    • Any participant showing signs of illness are required to abstain from UMYA events.
    • A participant residing in a home with one or more person OR has made contact with a person confirmed ill will be required to abstain from UMYA activities.
    • If a person has or has had contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, that person is required to quarantine for 14 days from all UMYA activities.
    • If a player has had contact with his/her UMYA team during a confirmed case of COVID-19, the entire UMYA team will be placed on a 14-day quarantine period in which no UMYA group events may occur.
    • Players will be asked to train at home during times of shutdowns and restrictions as put in place by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
  • Hygiene
    • Proper handwashing/ sanitizing must be used by all participants.
    • No spitting of any kind. This would include the use of sunflower seeds.
    • No handshakes, high fives, chest bumps, or contact of this kind. Bowing and waving are alternative suggestions for celebration and acknowledgements.
    • UMYA will provide hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes to all coaches.
    • Education will be provided to each coach with regards to keeping their specific teams and equipment safe.
    • Each player will be asked to provide his/her own sanitizing products for use during UMYA activities.
    • No shared snacks will be allowed, before, during or after UMYA activies.
  • Face Covering
    • The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania requires the use of masks/ face coverings for all public interactions with in 6ft of space.
    • UMYA recommends that all spectators adhere to the directives of the local/state government at the time of the activity.
      • Exceptions to the wearing of masks are those 2 years of age and younger, anyone who has difficulty breathing and those who are medically unable to wear a mask.
    • Social Distancing
      • Where applicable, space of 6ft or more should be maintained.

Reporting

If a case of COVID-19 or contagious illness is confirmed by a participant. That person/family is required to immediately notify the UMYA coach or coordinator. That official will report to the Upper Milford Youth Association Board of Directors. The organization will maintain the privacy of the effected person(s). Steps will be taken immediately to clean all areas known to have been contacted by the individual. Notification will also sent to those who are known to have been in contact with this area/individual. The participant with a confirmed case will be required to quarantine from UMYA events and players for the CDC recommended duration of 14 days. If that player exposed fellow teammates and coaches, the entire team will be on 14-day restrictions to monitor for any symptoms and prevent further spread of the illness.

It is recommended that players returning from areas with large outbreaks of illness take a quarantine period before returning to UMYA activities.

The Upper Milford Youth Association is made up of volunteers from our local community seeking to make a safe, fun, and healthy environment for our youth to play sports. The organization seeks to continue this mission with the support of our families. We sincerely thank all our participants for following the guidelines put forth in this document to help keep our kids, families and friends safe in Upper Milford!