A press release from Section 10 has given Franklin and St. Lawrence counties an updated time line for winter sports.

According to new guidance given, winter high-risk sports in Section 10 might be able to practice or compete “as early as mid-to-late February.”

Since Section 10 made its announcement to pause high-risk sports last week, the 24 school districts have been given further information and guidance from local health authorities.

Section 10 operates from two health departments, one from each county.

Both health departments have given guidance on the positivity rates in which schools may participate in high-risk sports.

Per Franklin County guidance, high-risk sports may only be conducted if the county’s positivity rate is below 4% on a seven-day rolling average and hospital capacity is at 15% or more.

Franklin County currently sits at 6.8%, while St. Lawrence County’s current positivity rate is 4.5%.

While districts have been working with athletic directors, school medical personnel, and other staff to have safety plans approved by each school’s medical directors and education boards and submitted to the DOH, Section 10 released the following actions needed to begin high-risk sports activity.

New York State and local Department of Health guidance said districts must complete the following actions:

1. District develops detailed safety plan

2. Plan submission to DOH

3. DOH approval is granted or denied

4. School medical director must review and give approval

5. BOE must pass resolution to adopt plan

6. Plan must be posted on school website

7. Districts must complete affirmation form on NYS DOH website

8. Random spot checks conducted by public health

9. Coaching appointments

10. Athletes must submit updated medical history

11. If a player has tested positive for COVID in the past, recommended get cardio clearance from doctor

After school districts complete these actions, athletic directors and the Section 10 office will put together sports schedules.

Winter high-risk sports include basketball and hockey. Wrestling, traditionally a winter sport that has been classified as high-risk, has been floated to the fall II season along with volleyball, football and girls swimming.

Saranac Lake is the sole school district in Franklin County that belongs to Section 7. While Saranac Lake must follow Franklin County DOH guidelines, the school district will follow Section 7’s time line.

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