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ARAA Baseball Covid-19 Preparedness Plan

The AR Baseball Covid-19 plan was last updated March 16, 2021 and will continue to be updated as guidance is received.

ARAA Baseball COVID-19 Preparedness Plan   

Anoka Ramsey Baseball Association is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for all our members. To ensure that, we have developed the following Preparedness Plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Coaches, parents, spectators, umpires, and players are all responsible for implementing this plan. Our goal is to provide reasonable protective measures to limit risks for the potential transmission of COVID-19 on and around the field of play, and that requires full cooperation among everyone involved. Through this cooperative effort we can establish and maintain the safety and health of our participants. Anoka Ramsey Baseball coaches have our full support in enforcing the provisions of this policy.

Our Preparedness Plan follows Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidelines related to COVID-19 and addresses:

  • General Expectations;
  • COVID-19 Administrator and Coordinator;
  • Athlete and Coach Masking
  • Prompt Identification and Isolation of Sick Persons;
  • Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette;
  • Controls for Social Distancing;
  • Cleaning, Disinfecting and Decontamination;
  • Communications and Training Provided to Coaches and Players.

The MDH recognizes that sports provide opportunities for youth to develop or maintain fitness, specific skills, mental well-being, and social-emotional health. We all want to support youth engaging in sports, but we want to do it in a way that will keep them safe.

General Expectations

Per the COVID-19 Sports Practice Guidance for Youth and Adults, it is important we set and adopt the following expectations. These expectations are for the entire ARAA association and Anoka Ramsey Baseball will be adhering and enforcing these expectations.

  • Successfully resuming practices and games is dependent on the adherence to guidance necessary to prevent transmission outlined by the guidelines in this document (COVID-19 Sports Practice Guidance for Youth and Adults).
  • Please read all requirements listed below carefully.
  • Failure to comply with any guidelines in this document may result in removal from a practice, a game, the entire baseball season, and / or all of Anoka Ramsey Athletic Association.
  • All participants must stay in the assigned area, unless bathroom use is necessary.

COVID-19 Administrator and Coordinator

The Anoka Ramsey Athletic Association has named Jen Niska, ARAA Vice President as the COVID-19 administrator and coordinator. Erik Entinger, Commissioner, is the Anoka Ramsey Baseball administrator and coordinator. Their contact information can be found on the main webpage at arsports.org. Administrator and Coordinators are responsible for preparing and implementing the COVID-19 preparedness plan and reporting and tracing positive cases. Please contact Anoka Ramsey Baseball’s COVID-19 Administrator and Coordinator first with any questions, comments, and concerns.

Athlete and Coach Masking

This section is copied directly from the COVID-19 Sports Practice Guidance for Youth and Adults and will be updated as there are changes from the Governor’s executive orders.

  • “Face coverings must be worn by all persons at all times, including practices and, when allowed, games.” It is important to note that the only exceptions allowed are for wrestling and water sports.
  •  “Face coverings must be worn in accordance with MDH guidance and Executive Order 20-81.
    • Types of face coverings can include a cloth mask, a neck gaiter, a scarf, a bandanna, or a religious face covering. CDC recommends using two layers of fabric when making a cloth face covering. Face coverings that are made of thinner single-layer fabric such as certain types of masks, scarves, neck gaiters, or bandannas may not be as effective for blocking droplets that come out when speaking, coughing, or sneezing and should not be used unless there are no alternatives
    • A face covering must cover the nose and mouth completely. The covering should not be overly tight or restrictive and should feel comfortable to wear.
    • Any masks that incorporate a valve that is designed to facilitate easy exhaling, mesh masks, or masks with openings, holes, visible gaps in the design or material, or vents are not sufficient face coverings because they allow droplets to be released from the mask.
    • Face Coverings Requirements and Recommendations under Executive Order 20-81 https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/facecover.html
  • People are not permitted to remove their face coverings during activities that involve a high level of exertion.”

If you have an exemption for wearing a face covering due to a disability, medical, or mental health condition, you must provide a doctor’s note to your coach who will provide that note to the Anoka Ramsey Baseball Administrator and Coordinator.

COVID-19 screening and policies for participants

Participants should self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 before leaving home. Stay home if you have an elevated temperature or have respiratory symptoms (i.e. cough, sore throat, or shortness of breath). Participants who are sick should notify their Program Director and follow CDC-recommended steps. Participants should not return to play until the criteria to discontinue home isolation are met, in consultation with healthcare providers and state and local health departments. Participants who are well but who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 should follow CDC recommended precautions including self-quarantine. Team personnel may screen players for symptoms upon arrival. Participants who appear to have symptoms or who become sick during an activity should be immediately separated from other participants and sent home.

Participants with underlying medical conditions or who have household members with underlying health conditions should take additional precautions to minimize face-to-face contact, maintain a distance of six feet from other participants and/or us CDC approved Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) if possible.

If a participant is confirmed to have a COVID-19 infection, Anoka Ramsey Baseball will inform fellow participants of their possible exposure to COVID-19 while maintaining confidentiality and instruct fellow participants about how to proceed based on the Public Health Recommendations for Community-Related Exposure

Hygiene and respiratory etiquette

Basic infection prevention measures are encouraged at all times including hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette. Participants should wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water frequently, but especially before and after activity, prior to eating and after using the toilet. Participants should use hand-sanitizer (of greater than 60% ethyl or 70% isopropanol alcohol) for hand hygiene in place of soap and water, as long as hands are not visibly soiled. Please review the CDC’s guidelines for proper handwashing. Participants are prohibited from handshakes or high fives.

Participants should cover their mouth and nose with their sleeve or a tissue when coughing or sneezing and avoid touching their face, in particular their mouth, nose and eyes, with their hands. They should dispose of tissues in the trash and wash or sanitize their hands immediately afterward. If participants are suffering from seasonal allergies, make sure to employ exceptional hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, as they are likely to touch their face more frequently which may increase risk of exposure. CDC approved cloth face masks are required for all participants in accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order 20-81. Masks worn during play must be of one color and not distracting (i.e. neutral in color and no designs). No spitting, chewing gum, or eating sunflower seeds as this may cause respiratory droplets while around others. No sharing of food or drinks is permitted.

Guidance for social distancing

The term “social distancing” refers to measures being taken to restrict where and when people can gather in order to stop or slow the spread of infectious disease. In general, 6 feet of separation is the distance that should be kept between people interacting within their community. Social distancing should be observed in youth programs through the following controls:

  • Adapt practices to allow physical distancing of at least 6 feet whenever possible.
  • Try to adhere to a staff (or volunteer) to participant ratio of 1:9. If social distancing cannot be attained within the group size, then the number of participants must be reduced.
  • Within the program, create consistent pods of the same staff, volunteers, and participants with a maximum number of 10 people in each pod.
  • Wherever possible, hold activities outdoors and encourage participants to spread out.
  • When helping participants apply sunscreen or use equipment, ensure staff and volunteers are sanitizing hands between interactions.
  • Reduce ride sharing or carpooling when possible.
  • Only 1 team will be allowed per field for practices.
  • Stagger arrival and/or dismissal times.
  • Consider dividing participant entry points rather than funneling all participants through the same entry space to limit the amount of close contact between participants in high-traffic situations and times.
  • Spectators are not allowed for practices held indoors.
  • Adhere to facility or specific guidelines for COVID-19.

This guidance is based on the MDH Guidance for Social Distancing in Youth and Student Programs.

Cleaning and disinfecting

Regular housekeeping practices should be followed including routine cleaning and disinfecting of player equipment, baseballs, bats, etc. Team personnel will carry disinfectant to be used before, during and after practices and games. Parents are encouraged to supply their players with antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer to disinfect their equipment and clean hands. Players should refrain from sharing equipment in general. This includes but is not limited to bats, helmets, and catcher’s equipment

● Players should hang their equipment along the fence line following proper spacing and distancing requirements.

● Players should use their own personal water bottle or cooler. Team coolers are prohibited.

● Participants should hand sanitize following contact with other players, coaches, or shared equipment.

● Players should wear their batting gloves as much as possible, especially when handling a bat.

● Shared equipment must be sanitized between use by a different player.

Communications and training

This Preparedness Plan will be communicated to all participants on or before the first day of organized activity. Additional communication and training will be provided to all participants on an ongoing basis. This Preparedness Plan will be updated, as necessary, to implement a phased approach to a safe return to play.

 

Appendix A – Guidance for COVID-19 Preparedness Plan

Participant screening questions

The following questions may be used by team personnel to screen for symptoms of COVID-19.

● Do you live with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19?

● Do you live with anyone that is required to self-quarantine?

● Do you have any of the following respiratory symptoms?

         o Cough

         o Sore throat

         o Shortness of breath

● Have you taken any fever reducing medications (i.e. Tylenol) within the last 24 hours?

 

Appendix B – Resources for COVID-19 Preparedness Plan

General

www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV

www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus

Minnesota’s Stay Safe Plan Chart

 

Participants exhibiting signs and symptoms of COVID-19

www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/basics.html

COVID-19 Exclusion Guidance: Decision Tree for Symptomatic Individuals in Schools & Childcare Programs (PDF)

 

Hygiene and respiratory etiquette

www.cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html

www.cdc.gov/handwashing

https://youtu.be/d914EnpU4Fo www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/prevention.html www.cdc.gov/healthywater/hygiene/etiquette/coughing_sneezing.html https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html

 

Social distancing

Guidance for Social Distancing in Youth and Student Programs (PDF)

Guidance for Social Distancing in Youth Sports (PDF)

COVID-19 Outdoor Recreation, Facilities and Public Guidelines

 

Cleaning and disinfecting

www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/disinfecting-your-home.html www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/cleaning-disinfection.html