Commissioners OK organized sports practices

WEST CHESTER — Chester County took another step toward a more normal life, by announcing that organized team sports practices will be permitted — under certain circumstances — beginning Thursday. Games and competitions are still not permitted.

In a statement issued Wednesday, the Chester County Commissioners and Chester County Health Department said they are committed to ensuring the health and safety of our County as it transitions through Gov. Tom Wolf’s phased reopening.

Noting that both bodies recognize minimizing the impact of COVID-19 is of highest priority but also cited the value of outdoor recreation and exercise in promoting mental health, physical fitness for children and adults alike, full guidelines were released Wednesday.

Parents and coaches must remain diligent in assessing personal risk of players to begin practice, based upon individual circumstances, and seeking guidance from a health care provider. Individuals at a higher risk for COVID-19 should not participate in organized sports during the “yellow” phase.

“The move to permitting organized sport practices is reliant on the diligence of organized sports leaders to protect the safety of coaches, players and families,” said Jeanne Casner, Director of the Chester County Health Department.  “But so too is the cooperation of coaches, parents and players in keeping the whole community safe.”

The Chester County Health Department provides the following guidelines to organized sports seeking to begin practices.

No organized competition and games are allowed until the “green” phase of the Governor’s plan.



  • Limit practices to 25 or less players and coaches.
  • Outdoor practice should be prioritized over indoor practice.
  • Spectators, parents, volunteers and nonessential staff must remain outside the practice area.
  • Conduct temperature and symptom screening of all players and coaches prior to beginning practice.
  • Educate coaches and players about which symptoms should be monitored.
  • Require players and coaches to wash or sanitize their hands prior to, and after, practice.
  • Modify practices so players can work on individual skills, rather than on competition. If working in small groups, be mindful of keeping the players with each other, rather than switching groups or mixing groups.
  • No equipment should be shared among players and/or coaches; if sharing equipment cannot be avoided, proper sanitation must be done between uses.
  • All equipment must be sanitized after each practice, following current disinfection procedures.
  • Coaches must wear face coverings throughout practice sessions.
  • Coaches and players must practice social distancing at all times to include no physical contact such as handshakes, fist-bumps, high-fives, etc.
  • Spitting or chewing gum by players and coaches is not allowed.
  • Require individual water bottles/beverages for all players and coaches.
  • Prepackaged or boxed food should be used rather than a buffet or self-serve from a congregate bowl of snacks; reinforce the use of handwashing or sanitization before eating or drinking.
  • Ensure the staggered use of restroom and locker-room facilities whenever possible and disinfect facilities between groups of users.
  • Recommend players and coaches do not carpool; if carpooling is not avoidable, it should be only limited to members of the same household, or require the use of masks while carpooling.
  • Provide signage and reminders about healthy behaviors, proper hand hygiene, how to wear a face covering, etc.
  • Follow current procedures for players or coaches who test positive for COVID-19, or are identified as a close contact to an individual with COVID-19.
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