July 29, 2021
Preparations for the 2021-22 school year is proving to be an already exciting yet challenging experience.
In response to the increase of positive COVID-19 cases due to the Delta variant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new guidance recommending mask-wearing in public, indoor settings, including K-12 schools, regardless of vaccine status.
With CDC updates being discussed, it is our goal to be as transparent as possible to move forward with safe, hygienic athletic activities. Our athletes, coaches, staff, and other stakeholders deserve the safest environment to participate in middle and high school athletics. Although we are planning for a traditional start to the athletics school year, we strongly encourage following current CDC health and safety guidelines as the COVID-19 pandemic remains prevalent.
Find the DHEC/CDC updates here:
At present, the SCHSL recommends but does not require athletes, coaches, and staff to wear masks while participating in athletic events to include practice. South Carolina’s individual school district administrations and municipal leadership groups should continue to evaluate recommendations from the CDC and put strategies in place to keep all involved healthy and safe during athletic functions. All data is being reviewed as we continue to collaborate with health professionals across South Carolina.
We will continue to monitor conditions and adjust as needed based on the data and recommendations from CDC, DHEC and health officials as we have done since the beginning of the pandemic. We will adjust as circumstances change and implore everyone to be vigilant with all covid precautionary measures to include but not limited to:
- Masks in public
- Social distancing
- Cleaning surfaces
- Hand washing and use of sanitizers
- Contact tracing
- Optional quarantines when exposed
According to the CDC, the Delta variant is responsible for 75 percent of recent COVID-19 cases and spreads more quickly than other variants. Consistent and correct mask use by people who are not fully vaccinated is especially important indoors and in crowded settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained. To remain consistent with the CDC guidelines we are continuing to recommend masks.
Please connect with SCHSL social media platforms and website for updates. It is our wish for you to have a triumphant start to the new school year. Your cooperation and understanding with all Covid-19 matters is much appreciated, very much needed.
Jerome Singleton, SCHSL Commissioner
South Carolina State Department of Education: