Return-to-Play (Covid-19)

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Phase 4 (July 6, 2020) - Return to Play - A Message From Club President Tom Bell

PHASE 4 info to be posted shortly...stay tuned for more info...
Hi All,
The purpose of this page and message is to highlight several protocols that will be followed by the Twin County Soccer Association as Local, State and Federal COVID-19 restrictions on youth sports are lifted and TCSA Returns to Soccer Phase 4 starting on July 6th, 2020.
This message and website cannot anticipate all eventualities and, as such, it will be updated as the COVID-19 situation progresses or declines.
The over-riding theme being followed by the Twin County Soccer Association’s RETURN TO SOCCER is participant health and safety, which is achieved by managing the risk of the spread of the COVID-19 illness.
To help define the activities permitted and protocols to be followed, the Twin County Soccer Association has aligned it’s Return to Soccer with the phases for Returning to Play as defined by the New Jersey Youth Soccer Association (NJYSA) and the NJ Department of Health. These phases are based upon the activities that are permitted and/or restricted by Local/State/Federal governments at a given point in time. The Twin County Soccer Association will follow the below protocols, based upon the phase of permitted activities.
Please note:
The guidelines in this document are not all inclusive and are NOT intended to be a substitute for professional medical guidance for the diagnosis, treatment or advice given to individuals to manage the COVID-19 situation. At all times individuals should follow the directives of our governing authorities and use common sense and err on the side of caution should questions be raised.
Amount of necessary touching of shared equipment and gear
It is possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it, and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes. Minimize equipment sharing, and clean and disinfect shared equipment between uses by different people to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread.
Ability to engage in social distancing while not actively engaged in play
During times when players are not actively participating in practice or competition, attention should be given to maintaining social distancing by increasing space between players on the sideline. Additionally, coaches can encourage athletes to use downtime for individual skill building work or cardiovascular conditioning, rather than staying clustered together.
Players at higher risk of developing serious disease
Parents and coaches should assess the level of risk based on individual players on the team who may be at higher risk for severe illness, such as children who may have asthma, diabetes, or other health problems.
Trainer/Coach/Staff – General Responsibilities
• The Trainer/Coach/Staff running a training session or game will be the responsible adult who, in addition to his/her coaching responsibilities, will be responsible for the enforcement of the TCSA COVID-19 Return to Soccer protocols. The responsible adult has the authority and responsibility to terminate a session for non-compliance, if COVID-19 protocols are not being followed.
Parent/Players – General Responsibilities
• Players who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 should avoid putting themselves at increased risk from contracting the disease.
• Monitor your health and your child’s health for COVID-19 symptoms and refrain from participating in activities if your child is symptomatic.
• Take your player’s temperature before participating in any club activities and refrain from participating if the temperature is 100.4 degrees F or above.
• Complete the health questionnaire before attending a team activity (On TeamSnap as "Covid-19 Daily Questionnaire")
In the event any individual(s) refuses to follow the protocols outlined in this email and those found in Local/State/Federal documents, the individual will be asked to remove themselves from the activity and will not be allowed to return to an activity until they agree to follow all COVID-19 protocols. In the event the individual refuses to remove themselves from the activity, the activity must be terminated, and all participants will be instructed to wear face masks and maintain social distancing as they leave the area. The event will then be documented and referred to the Twin County Soccer Association Board for appropriate disciplinary action.
The Twin County Soccer Association will follow a policy of non-discrimination for all individuals related to COVID-19. The purpose of this policy is to ensure players and staff that they will not be discriminated against regarding:
(1) A diagnosis or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19,
(2) A personal decision to not participate in any TCSA activity (including training or games) due to concerns with COVID-19, or
(3) A decision to not participate in any TCSA activities due to being in a COVID-19 high risk group
Public health authorities allow contact sports, which includes soccer, to resume traditional practices and competitions (expected to begin as of July 6th) (CDC - Even More Risk Involved) (NJ Youth Soccer Association has permitted competitive games)
• No training or competition restrictions
• No sharing of water or equipment (exception for soccer balls)
• Physical contact should be minimized whenever possible
• Participants remain 6 feet apart off the field whenever possible
• Designated areas for each participant’s gear should be clearly marked off the field
• Spectators permitted with proper social or physical distancing and no contact with players or teams. At risk individuals should still take precautions.
• Select guidelines from NJ Department of Health’s “Guidance for Sports Activities” (pages 3-7)
Competitions, tournaments, and other activities or events that involve interaction between athletes from the same team or between teams carry significant risks that operators, towns, coaches, parents and others should carefully consider before proceeding. If participating in or organizing a competition:
a.    Follow protocols listed under “conducting sports practices,” found in the NJ Department of Health’s “Guidance for Sports Activities” (pages 6 & 7 and, for your convenience, see below a.-j.)
Conducting Sports Practices
a. Coaches, staff, visitors and athletes will be required to abide by the gatherings limitations outlined in Executive Order No. 152 (2020), or the Order in effect at the time of competition.
b. Screen athletes, coaches, staff and others participating in practice sessions, via temperature check and health questionnaire, at the beginning of each session. Players, coaches, staff, and volunteers showing symptoms of COVID-19 shall not be permitted to participate. If any individual develops symptoms of COVID-19 during the activity, they should promptly inform organizers and must be removed from the activity and instructed to return home.
c. Limit practice activities to those that do not involve person-to-person contact between athletes and/or coaching staff. For example, focus on individual skill-building activities.
d. Adhere to precautions outlined in the program preparation plan.
e. Ensure that athletes and coaches adhere to social distancing while not actively involved in practice activities (on the bench, in the dugout, etc.). Consider assigning coaching staff to monitor sideline social distancing.
f. If any equipment is provided by the operator, operators must minimize equipment sharing and clean and disinfect shared equipment at the end of a practice session using a product from the list of disinfectants meeting EPA criteria for use against the novel coronavirus. Do not permit athletes to share food, beverages, water bottles, towels, pinnies, gloves, helmets or any other equipment or materials that is involved in direct bodily contact.
g. Consider dividing larger teams into smaller groups and staggering practices at different times or across different days.
h. Limit any nonessential visitors, spectators, staff, volunteers, vendors, members of the media, and activities involving external groups or organizations as much as possible. Visitors and spectators should wear face coverings at all times, unless doing so would inhibit the individual’s health or the individual is under the age of two.
i. Operators are encouraged to mark off spectator/chaperone viewing sites to allow for social distancing. Visitors showing symptoms of COVID-19 shall not be permitted to attend.
j. Restrict spitting, handshakes, high-fives, team huddles, and any other close-contacting activities.
b. When competitions are permitted, based on the dates outlined in the chart (page 4), coaches, staff, visitors and athletes will be required to abide by the gatherings limitations outlined in Executive Order No. 152 (2020), or the Order in effect at the time of competition. It is anticipated that the permissible number will increase to 250 on June 22 and 500 people on July 3 if the downward trends in the state’s COVID-19 outbreak continues.
c. Concession stands should meet the requirements for outdoor dining outlined in Executive Order No. 150 (2020) and Department of Health Executive Directive No. 20- 014.
d. Consider social distancing requirements when scheduling contests and events. Social distancing will need to be maintained on buses/vans. Thus, multiple buses/vans and/or individual parent/guardian transportation will likely be required. Games should be scheduled at intervals that allow for proper sanitation of facilities and equipment following each game.
Additional notes: Programs that are governed by formal league rules or other binding agreements or affiliations should comply with any COVID-19 and other health and safety rules applicable under those authorities but must abide by the timeline regarding permitted practice activities and competition dates. * Venues like GoodSports USA
Individuals with COVID-19 can exhibit symptoms ranging from mild to life threatening. Please consult the CDC website for latest details on symptoms. 
CDC Website URL: F2019-ncov%2Fabout%2Fsymptoms.html
The most common symptoms associated with infection include:
• Fever (> 100.3 degrees F)
• Cough
• Shortness of breath
Less common symptoms that may still be evidence of COVID-19 infection include:
• Sore throat
• Congestion
• Nausea and vomiting
• Diarrhea • Headache
• Muscle / joint pain
• Sudden loss of taste or smell
• Chills
Failure to comply with the dictates of the NJ Health document will result in the suspension of a team's practice times.  
Please also find below links to helpful items from NJYS, including a clickable, printable infographic as well as our complete protocol document.
Tom Bell
Twin County S.A. President



Click here to access the protocol document...