DOH: Masks not required for outdoor sports this fall

The fall preps preseason is just around the corner, and as teams gather to get ready for what will hopefully be a full season of action, the state has released its COVID-19 guidance for athletics.

The good news is that guidelines are far more relaxed for many sports, especially outdoor ones, than they were in February, when last year’s shortened high school sports season began.

Football, soccer and cross country coaches can breathe a sigh of relief as masks will not be required for outdoor sports. However, they are recommended in settings where unvaccinated athletes, coaches, trainers and other personnel are in close proximity, such as on the sideline or in a huddle.

Masks are also not required for athletes competing in low- or moderate-contact indoor sports, regardless of vaccination status. Masking will be required for athletes who are not actively practicing or competing, and are encouraged during indoor practices.

Masks will also be required for all spectators for indoor sports regardless of vaccination status. Fans should be seated in “units” with at least 3 feet of space in between.

“The mask will be required in by everybody weight rooms regardless of their vaccination status,” says WIAA assistant executive director Justin Kesterson in the organization’s latest video update.

Restrictions remain more stringent for high-contact indoor sports — basketball, water polo and wrestling — however, masks are not required for athletes who are fully vaccinated.

Unvaccinated athletes in high-contact indoor sports will have to participate in screen testing, which must be performed twice weekly using either a molecular or antigen test. Rapid antigen tests should be performed on unvaccinated athletes within 24 hours of competition. For multi-day events, testing should happen before each competition. If the test is molecular, the athlete will not have to isolate while awaiting results unless showing symptoms.

Screen testing for unvaccinated athletes in low- or moderate-contact indoor sports is recommended, but not required.

When athletes test positive, they, along with any other athlete, coach or trainer who is unvaccinated, should quarantine immediately, even if they have had a negative test recently. Those who are fully vaccinated should get tested within three to five days of a known exposure to someone suspected or confirmed to have COVID and wear a mask for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result.

For details go to the Department of Health website here.

More in Sports

Bainbridge’s air attack had a top-notch night against Sequim. Leading the way was senior Jeff Utter, who caught six passes for a team-high 83 yards. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Bainbridge dominates both sides of the ball in 48-10 win over Sequim

After spending last season as Bainbridge’s backup quarterback, senior Jeff Utter was… Continue reading

Isabelle Prentice
College: BI netter commits, grad starts in net

Isabelle Prentice, one of many talented seniors on this year’s Bainbridge High… Continue reading

Football Roundup: Week 3

North Mason at North Kitsap, postponed. This game was postponed due to… Continue reading

Bainbridge’s Jacob Dorsey (45) helps bring down Olympic’s Luke Silva (9) during Friday night’s matchup. The Trojans prevailed 28-24. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
BHS comeback falls short due to lack of kicking game

The good news from Friday night’s football game is that Bainbridge scored… Continue reading

Bainbridge middle blocker Holley McFadden gets in the way of a Kingston shot during her team’s victory over the Bucs on Thursday. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Bainbridge beats Kingston for 3rd consecutive win

Three games, nine sets, all of them have gone Bainbridge’s way. The… Continue reading

Sky Henderson (29) rushes to congratulate teammate Avery Pujolar after scoring her third goal of the game in a 5-0 win over Bremerton. (Mark Krulish/Bainbridge Island Review photos)
Pujolar’s hat trick sparks Bainbridge to victory

Bainbridge sophomore Avery Pujolar was flying down the left sideline at full… Continue reading

All eight members of the Bainbridge Island team won at least one national championship. Courtesy Photo
8 national champs come from BI team

Eight members of Bainbridge Island’s Pacific Fusion Premier Martial Arts team won… Continue reading

Klahowya is now 2-0 on the season after defeating Coupeville and Kingston in its first two games. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Football Roundup: Week 2

North Kitsap 62, Lakeside 0 The Vikings improved to 2-0 and have… Continue reading

Josh Smith, along with partner Drake Jones, are the top doubles pair for North Kitsap and led the way in Thursday’s match against Bainbridge, winning 6-0, 6-1. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
BI wins singles, NK doubles and match

North Kitsap’s seniors are hoping to make the most of their final… Continue reading

Bainbridge running back Matt LeDorze crashes through the line in the Spartans’ opening night game against Garfield. (Mark Krulish/Bainbridge Island Review)
Young Bainbridge blown out in opener

It was a baptismal by fire for Bainbridge’s young gridders on opening… Continue reading

No public at BHS home football games

No Friday Night Lights for you Bainbridge Island community. The BI school… Continue reading

Isabelle Prentice is one of the volleyball team’s top returners this season. (Review file photo)
Fall sports previews: Bainbridge

Girls Soccer 2021 record: 6-4 Head coach: Katie Drovdahl Key players: Savannah… Continue reading