ASAA working on COVID-19 mitigation plan for upcoming state championship events

Football field
Football field(Associated Press)
Published: Aug. 24, 2021 at 10:12 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - In a little over a month, champions will be crowned in high school football and cross-country running. The Alaska School Activities Association is working on COVID-19 mitigation plans for the upcoming high school state championship events, according to Executive Director Billy Strickland.

“We (ASAA) strongly recommend anyone who can get the vaccine do so,” Strickland said. “We also recognize many of our athletes have younger siblings at home who cannot get vaccinated. We wanted to precautions to create a safe event as possible.”

Strickland says they are working through mitigation plans regarding crowd limits, COVID-19 testing for athletes, or mask mandates. He said they plan to finalize mitigation plans after a meeting with the state health department.

Last year, a championship event was held for cross-country running while the one for football was canceled. Many smaller schools were unable to play fall sports in 2020 due to COVID-19, but Strickland anticipates higher participation from rural communities thanks to the vaccine.

“We were all feeling good about June 1 were things were trending, and the delta variant has been somewhat of a game-changer,” Strickland said. “We’re spending a lot of time on COVID-type issues.”

The state football playoffs begin Oct. 8, and cross-country state championships will be held Oct. 9 at Bartlett High School

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