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COVID-19 Summer Marching Band Practices & Rehearsals

UPDATED JULY 8, 2020

COVID-19 Summer Marching Band Practices & Rehearsals - Full Printable Version

Updates

Updates Released 7/8/2020:

Updates are briefly summarized below:

  • Face Coverings – Executive Order GA-29
  • All employees, parents, visitors and students ten years of age or older must wear face coverings or face shields upon entry to an area where UIL activities are being conducted and when not actively practicing or exercising, unless an exception applies, as outlined in the full document
  • Students may access locker rooms and engage in drills that involve one or more students on offense against one or more students on defense beginning 7/13/20
  • Updates of required protocol for individuals confirmed, suspected or exposed to COVID-19

The updated guidelines for UIL Summer Marching Band Practices and Rehearsals are described below. This guidance is in effect immediately until August 1, 2020.

UIL will continue to work with state officials and monitor CDC and other federal guidance to determine any potential modifications.

Deciding Whether to Offer In-Person Practices and Rehearsals

Schools should take their local context into account when making decisions related to summer practices and rehearsals on campus. Schools should follow all state requirements when considering these activities.

Schools should consider developing a plan for mitigating COVID-19 spread for these activities and posting this plan on the school’s website. Schools are required to develop these plans for the 2020-2021 school year, and may choose to do so for summer activities as well. These plans do not require further approval by UIL or TEA. 

Requirements for All Practices and Rehearsals

Consider having an individual or group of individuals wholly or partially dedicated to ensuring health protocols are being successfully implemented and followed. Schools must follow all requirements of state and local authorities in addition to the requirements below:

Executive Order GA-29, regarding face coverings, applies to all UIL activities effective July 3, 2020. This includes all 2020 summer activities and in-season activities for the 2020-2021 school year. As the public health situation changes, and/or if subsequent Executive Orders are issued by Governor Greg Abbott, these guidelines may be further modified.

  1. For the purposes of this document, masks and face coverings include non-medical grade disposable face masks, cloth face coverings (over the nose and mouth), or full-face shields to protect eyes, nose, and mouth.  Face shields may be superior to cloth face coverings in many circumstances, given improved ability to see mouth movements and improved air circulation.
  2. All employees, parents, visitors and students ten years of age or older must wear face coverings or face shields upon entry to an area where UIL activities are being conducted and when not actively practicing, unless an exception listed below applies. 
  3. The face coverings requirements do not apply to a school in a county that meets the requirements of paragraph 11 of Executive Order GA-29, unless the local school system chooses to implement these requirements locally. Even in these circumstances, the wearing of face coverings or face shields is strongly encouraged. 
  4. Exceptions to the wearing of face coverings or face shields include:
    • a. Any person with a medical condition or disability that prevents wearing a face covering;
    • b. While a person is consuming food or drink;
    • c. When a congregating group of persons maintains at least 6 feet of social distancing; or
    • d. Any other reason or circumstance indicated under Executive Order GA-29.

For the purposes of marching band rehearsals and practices, schools must require students, staff, and visitors to wear face coverings when entering and exiting facilities and practice areas, and when not actively practicing. Face coverings must be worn anytime six feet of distance cannot be maintained unless it is not practical to do so while practicing. Schools may, for example, allow students to practice while playing wind instruments. However, schools must require students and staff to wear face coverings as they get into positions that allow for safe spacing. 
 

Required Screening

Staff – Required Screening before attending or participating in activities:

Schools must follow TEA screening requirements and screen staff members before allowing staff to participate in UIL activities. Schools may consider screening students for COVID-19 as well. These protocols mirror the guidelines issued by TEA for school operations.

If a student or staff member has been screened by the school for purposes of participating in instruction, there is no reason to screen separately before allowing the staff or student to participate in UIL activities. Please see the TEA website for the most current screening guidance (make this word a link). 

  1. School systems must require teachers and staff to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms before being allowed to participate in UIL activities each day. Symptoms are listed at the end of this document. The self-screening should include teachers and staff taking their own temperature. Teachers and staff must report to the school system if they themselves have COVID-19 symptoms or are lab-confirmed with COVID-19, and if so they must remain off campus until they meet the criteria for re-entry as noted below.  Additionally, they must report to the school system if they have had close contact with an individual who is lab-confirmed with COVID-19, as defined at the end of this document, and if so must remain off campus until the 14-day incubation period has passed.  
  2. Parents must ensure they do not send a student to participate in UIL activities if the student has COVID-19 symptoms (as listed in this document) or is lab-confirmed with COVID-19 until the below conditions for re-entry are met. School systems may consider screening students for COVID-19 as well.  Screening is accomplished by asking questions by phone or other electronic methods and/or in person. The screening questions should also be asked of a student’s parent if that parent will be dropping off or picking up their student from inside areas where UIL activities are being conducted. 
  3. Before visitors are allowed access to areas where UIL activities are being conducted, school systems must screen all visitors to determine if they themselves have COVID-19 symptoms (as listed in this document) or are lab-confirmed with COVID-19, and if so they must remain off campus and away from areas where UIL activities are being conducted until they meet the criteria for re-entry as noted below.  Additionally, school systems must screen to determine if visitors have had close contact with an individual who is lab-confirmed with COVID-19, and if so they must remain off campus and away from areas where UIL activities are being conducted until the 14-day incubation period has passed. When practical, screening questions could be supplemented with temperature checks of adults.
  4. Schools are permitted to prevent any individual who fails the screening criteria from being admitted into school facilities or sites where UIL activities are being conducted until they meet the criteria for re-entry as described below. Any individual for whom screening cannot be confirmed should be presumed symptomatic until confirmed otherwise.

Other Requirements and Operational Considerations

  • Attendance at practices and rehearsals must be optional for students and in compliance with the rules for Summer marching band practices and rehearsals. In addition to on-campus options, schools should consider providing students guidance for practicing at home or remotely away from school. This can include virtual practices, emailed or otherwise electronically delivered practice instructions, or any delivery model approved by the local school district.
  • Attendance records shall be kept, however, students shall not be required or allowed to make up missed days or practices.
  • Students should report to practices and rehearsals in proper attire and immediately return home to change clothes or shower at the end of the session.
  • Schools should have hand sanitizer or hand-washing stations readily available in the practice and rehearsal area. Students and staff should be encouraged to use it frequently.
  • All surfaces in practice and rehearsal areas should be thoroughly disinfected throughout and at the end of each day.
  • No clothing or towels may be laundered on site or shared during practices and rehearsals.
  • There can be no shared water or food.
  • Schools should plan for entry and exit procedures that reduce the number of students and parents congregating outside and/or mixing around the practice areas and parking areas. Consider staggering start and end times, assigning students to entries and exits to ensure even distribution of students entering/exiting at each entry point, providing guidance to students to enter one at a time and wait six feet apart outside the entrance.
  • If the school is planning to offer transportation for summer activities, schools should follow all TEA guidance related to such transportation.
  • Students and staff should maintain at least six feet of distance from all sides when not actively practicing or rehearsing. When actively practicing and rehearsing, students and staff should maintain at least ten feet of distance all sides when possible. Schools must require students who are not actively practicing to wear cloth face coverings.
  • Indoor practices and rehearsals can be conducted up to a maximum of 50% capacity. This is subject to change pending new guidance or occupancy restrictions announced by the Office of the Governor.
  • Schools should limit the total number of participants based on available space to allow for the appropriate distancing between students and staff.
  • Any equipment should be thoroughly disinfected before and after each use. If a student uses a piece of equipment, that equipment should be thoroughly disinfected before another student uses it. Schools should limit the use of equipment to further reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

* Schools should consider having students remain with a single group or cohort to minimize the number of students and staff that must isolate if a case is confirmed. See Positive Cases and Staff or Students Showing COVID Symptoms at the bottom of this document.

 

Individuals Confirmed, Suspected, or Exposed to COVID-19

1. Any individuals–including teachers, staff, students, or other campus visitors–who themselves either: (a) are lab-confirmed to have COVID-19; or (b) experience the symptoms of COVID-19 (listed below) must stay at home throughout the infection period, and cannot return to campus until the school system screens the individual to determine any of the below conditions for campus re-entry have been met:  

  • In the case of an individual who was diagnosed with COVID-19, the individual may return to school when all three of the following criteria are met: 
    • i. at least three days (72 hours) have passed since recovery (resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications); 
    • ii. the individual has improvement in symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and 
    • iii. at least ten days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
  • In the case of an individual who has symptoms that could be COVID-19 and who is not evaluated by a medical professional or tested for COVID-19, such individual is assumed to have COVID-19, and the individual may not return to the campus until the individual has completed the same three-step set of criteria listed above.
  • If the individual has symptoms that could be COVID-19 and wants to return to school before completing the above stay at home period, the individual must either (a) obtain a medical professional’s note clearing the individual for return based on an alternative diagnosis or (b) receive two separate confirmations at least 24 hours apart that they are free of COVID via acute infection tests at an approved COVID-19 testing location found at https://tdem.texas.gov/covid-19/.

2. Individuals–including students, teachers, staff, or other campus visitors–who have had close contact with someone who is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19, as narrowly defined in this document and as determined by the appropriate public health agency, should stay at home through the 14-day incubation period, and should not be allowed on campus.

  • School systems should screen individuals after the incubation period has concluded, and if the individual did not experience COVID-19 symptoms during that period, the individual can be allowed back on campus. If the individual experienced symptoms, they must stay at home until the conditions outlined above have been met.

This document refers to “close contact” with an individual who is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19. Close contact is determined by an appropriate public health agency. For clarity, close contact is defined as:

  • being directly exposed to infectious secretions (e.g., being coughed on while not wearing a mask or face shield); or 
  • being within 6 feet for a cumulative duration of 15 minutes, while not wearing a mask or face shield; 

if either occurred at any time in the last 14 days at the same time the infected individual was infectious. 

Individuals are presumed infectious at least two days prior to symptom onset or, in the case of asymptomatic individuals who are lab-confirmed with COVID-19, two days prior to the confirming lab test.

Identifying Possible COVID-19 Cases

  1. Schools must immediately separate any student who shows COVID-19 symptoms until the student can be picked up by a parent or guardian.  
  2. Schools should clean the areas used by the individual who shows COVID-19 symptoms (student, teacher, or staff) as soon as is feasible.
  3. Students who report feeling feverish should be given an immediate temperature check to determine if they are symptomatic for COVID-19.

Required Actions if Individuals with Lab-Confirmed Cases Have Been in a School or in an Area Where UIL Activities Are being Conducted

  1. If an individual who has been in a school is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19, the school must notify its local health department, in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations, including confidentiality requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). 
  2. Schools must close off areas that are heavily used by the individual with the lab-confirmed case (student, teacher, or staff) until the non-porous surfaces in those areas can be disinfected, unless more than 3 days have already passed since that person was on campus.
  3. Consistent with school notification requirements for other communicable diseases, and consistent with legal confidentiality requirements, schools must notify all teachers, staff, and families of all students in a school if a lab-confirmed COVID-19 case is identified among students, teachers or staff who participate on any on campus activities.

COVID-19 Symptoms

In evaluating whether an individual has symptoms consistent with COVID-19, consider the following questions:

Have they recently begun experiencing any of the following in a way that is not normal for them?

  • Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing 
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headache
  • Chills 
  • Sore throat
  • Shaking or exaggerated shivering
  • Significant muscle pain or ache 
  • Diarrhea

Screening Questionnaire Information

  1. When asking individuals if they have symptoms for COVID-19, school systems must only require the individual to provide a “Yes” or “No” to the overall statement that they are symptomatic for COVID-19, as opposed to asking the individual for specific symptom confirmation.  School systems are not entitled to collect information during screening on the specific health information of an individual beyond that they are symptomatic.
  2. Once it is determined that individuals who responded “Yes” to either of these questions have met the criteria for re-entry, school systems must destroy those individuals’ responses.