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AIA announces COVID-19 guidelines for athletics

Williams Vikings volleyball players prepare for the fall season.  (Wendy Howell/WGCN)

Williams Vikings volleyball players prepare for the fall season. (Wendy Howell/WGCN)

WILLIAMS, Ariz. — Fully vaccinated school athletes and coaches who come into contact with someone having COVID-19 will not need to quarantine and can continue to fully participate in their high school sport, the Arizona Interscholastic Association said July 27.

The AIA is looking at athletes’ compliance based on the honor system.

“The AIA strongly recommends that all members of the athletic community who are able to receive COVID-19 vaccine are vaccinated,” the AIA stated in the guidelines. “Fully vaccinated people have a reduced risk of transmitting SARS-CoV-2 to unvaccinated people, from being infected with SARS-CoV-2, or having severe infection with SARS-CoV-2.”

Last year, athletes who came in contact with somebody who tested positive for the virus had to quarantine for two weeks. Because of that rule, teams were often forced to cancel games and isolate before resuming play.

As of now, athletes will also be able to play without masks this year.

“There are now very effective vaccines to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and the severity of the illness. Vaccination is the single most effective measure at this time to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the community,” the AIA stated in its guideline sheet.

Although the AIA can’t require vaccinations, many coaches are encouraging athletes to get vaccinated to keep the seasons uninterrupted.

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