Southern Tier health departments approve high-risk sports with COVID precautions


Health departments in Tioga, Broome, Chemung and Tompkins counties announced Wednesday that high-risk high school sports may resume after school districts in each county agreed to fully comply with state safety guidelines for these sports. The sports may resume on February 1, a date set by the state.

New York State Public High School Athletic Association issued guidelines Wednesday for schools to follow in order to be in compliance with the state guilelines. Each county health departments has authority to stipulate its own regulations.

Tioga Public Health issued this statement: “Tioga County schools have agreed to ensure full compliance with the Interscholastic Athletic Conference reopening plan and fully cooperate with Tioga County Public Health. No spectators will be permitted at sporting events. Participants must also adhere to social distancing, face coverings, and enhanced disinfection protocols. School districts may implement more restrictive measures.”

Chemung County Executive Christopher Moss issued this statement: “Safety guidance in Chemung County includes the following rules:

  • Athletes must wear a mask at all times
  • No spectators will be allowed for the first 14 days;  officials will review this guideline on or about Feb. 15
  • Failure to follow all guidelines could result in revocation or suspension of play
  • A three strike rule will be put in place to ensure compliance among all districts participating in higher risk sport activities

Football, wrestling, ice hockey, basketball, lacrosse, volleyball and competitive cheerleading are among the sports that the state previously identified as high-risk.