COVID Policies for School Sports

With COVID cases rising in Loudoun County due to new variants of the virus, LCPS has put in place new policies to ensure the safety of student-athletes and coaches.

COVID Policies for School Sports

By: Joey Hudson

LCPS has implemented new policies in order to ensure the safety of student-athletes and coaches.

COVID cases have been on the rise throughout the entire United States over the past few weeks due to multiple new COVID variants sweeping the nation, most notably the new and very contagious Omicron variant. In Loudoun County alone, there have been a reported 55,231 cases in total with 315 deaths. 

While the cases are on a rise in Loudoun County, LCPS doesn’t plan on switching to virtual learning or shutting down, and sports are planned to continue. However, in order to accustom to this, LCPS have put out stricter guidelines that schools are expected to follow for both academics and athletics.

Indoor Sports:

For indoor sports such as basketball, wrestling, gymnastics, swimming, etc., all participants, staff, spectators, and others not actively involved in practices and competitions are required to wear masks during practices and on the sidelines. This means that everyone who isn’t actually out there playing the sport has to wear their masks. If masks are ever required for athletes to be worn during play, wrestling and swimming will be exempt from wearing them due to safety hazards.

For swimming, swimmers must always have a mask on unless they are in the pool. It’s also recommended that swimmers bring a zip lock bag for their mask so it can remain dry while they’re in the pool and can have a dry mask ready once they’re done swimming. Everyone who isn’t swimming and is on the pool deck are required to be wearing masks at all times.

Sideline cheerleaders have the option on whether or not they want to wear masks. When cheering, masks are not required.

Equipment has to be cleaned and disinfected before and after practices and competitions.

Outdoor Sports:

Outdoor sports such as track are a lot less strict when it comes to the protocols. Masks are not required for any outdoor activities and spectators are not required to wear masks. 

Equipment has to be cleaned and disinfected before and after practices and competitions.


Coaches have to ask athletes a list of questions before attendance as a health screening. If an athlete says yes to any of the questions asked, they must be sent home and aren’t allowed to return until they provide a negative test result or have been seen by a health care provider that has cleared them to return. Parents or guardians are also to be informed about why their child was sent home. 

Coaches also have to allow student-athletes and staff to take practice breaks every 15 minutes where they have to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer.


When on LCPS transportation, passengers are expected and required to wear a mask at all times to and from events.

 Locker Room/Weight Room:

Anyone who is in the locker room or the team room are required by LCPS to wear masks at all times. 

When in the weight room, it is required that anyone in there has to wear a mask at all times unless they’re actively lifting or working out. Spotters must wear a mask at all times.