SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Thursday, the New York State Education Department released guidance on how to reopen schools this fall.  

In that guidance, NYSED gave insight on how they think sports and extracurricular activities should be handled. 

The guidance read in part:

“Both the CDC and NYSED recognize that school-sponsored sports and extracurricular activities provide students with enrichment opportunities that can help them learn and achieve and support their social, emotional, and mental health.”

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association replied with a statement Thursday evening saying they encourage schools to utilize the document while checking with local health departments as NYSPHSAA continues to work with the state to provide a safe athletic school year.

They recommended that prevention strategies like not participating when sick and screenings for individuals not fully vaccinated. NYSED even proposed a potential cancellation of sports that put students at high-risk on contracting COVID-19. 

“High-risk sports and extracurricular activities should be virtual or cancelled in areas of high community transmission unless all participants are fully vaccinated.” 

The guidance noted that playing outdoors is safer when it comes to transmission of the virus, but when required to be near other athletes for an extended period, there is still a concern that the virus can spread. 

Sports that were considered high-risk last athletic calendar were sports like football, wrestling, volleyball and hockey. Meanwhile, sports like golf, cross country and soccer were allowed to play during their allotted seasons with some qualifications. 

A number of counties, including Onondaga, have been labeled as having “high transmission” by the CDC which is their highest classification.