As the state of Virginia returns to soccer in the month of July and prepares for the Fall 2020 season, SOCA remains committed to the safety of our players, coaches, referees, families and communities. We believe it is imperative that everyone adhere to the below Policy and Procedure which have been created with the information learned from the Governor of Virginia, the Virginia Department of Health and Safety (VDH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The policies and Procedures listed below are mandatory for all players, coaches and staff members to ensure all of our participants can continue to train and develop safely. If Parents are not comfortable having their child return to play or their child is at a higher risk for severe illness, please stay home.
Throughout the remainder of 2020 and the Fall Season SOCA will continually monitor guidance and information provided by the CDC and federal and state officials as it relates to COVID-19.
Mitigation of the spread of COVID-19 relies on the whole SOCA community following the policies and procedures put in place to promote everyone’s health and safety. This Policy will be communicated via email to staff and families, as well as available on the SOCA website.
SOCA will adhere to the physical distancing guidelines, cleaning and disinfection practices, and workplace safety practices provided by the Governor of Virginia and local authorities. SOCA program size will be determined based on the current recommended standards/phase guidelines put in place by state and local governments.
SOCA will ensure anyone who has symptoms of, has tested positive for, or has been exposed to COVID-19 follows appropriate guidelines for quarantine or isolation as discussed below.
SOCA will continually monitor guidance and information provided by the CDC and federal and state officials as it relates to COVID-19. Policies and procedures for all activities will be adjusted as needed in order to provide our services while making every effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 to the best of our ability.
General Hygiene Practices to Mitigate the Risk of Spread of Infection
All players, coaches, and staff members are expected to follow the following practices to mitigate transmission of any communicable disease.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Frequently wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an
- alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Cover mouth and nose (with arm or elbow, not hands) when coughing or
- sneezing and wash hands afterward.
- Wear a face mask or covering when outside if you have any symptoms of upper respiratory infection.
- Frequently clean commonly used surfaces (doorknobs, for example) with an
- antiseptic cleanser.
- Avoid contact with other individuals (i.e. shaking hands, high-fives, etc.).
- Maintain a distance of six (6) feet between you and others.
- Stay home if you feel sick and contact your health care provider.
Symptoms of COVID-19 Infection:
Individuals with COVID-19 can exhibit signs and symptoms which range from mild to life-threatening. The most common symptoms associated with COVID-19 infection include:
- Fever ( ≥100.4 degrees F)
- Shortness of breath
Less common symptoms that may still be evidence of COVID-19 infection include:
- Sore throat
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle / joint pain
- Sudden loss of taste or smell
Required Participation Waivers and Protocols
Prior to participation in any SOCA related events or activities, all players/parents must complete and agree to the online waiver as part of their registration. The waiver includes a Release of Liability and Assumption of Risk for Communicable Diseases including COVID-19.
All players, coaches and staff members must perform a temperature check and conduct a health screening prior to attending any SOCA related events or activities. The temperature check and health screening can be performed by adult players or parents of minors and may be reinforced by a coach or staff member in order to look for signs of infection. This includes:
(1) Temperature Check – all players, staff or family members with a temperature of 100.4 or greater are prohibited from attending any event.
(2) Health Screening – The following are to be asked of oneself or by a parent of a minor prior to attending any SOCA activities or events:
(i) Is your current temperature 100.4F or greater?
(ii) Have you been diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last fourteen (14) days?
(iii) Have you exhibited any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 in the last fourteen (14) days?
(iv) Have you been in close contact (within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes) of anyone that has been diagnosed with or has symptoms of COVID-19 in the last fourteen (14) days?
If the answer to any of the above questions is “yes,” you are not allowed to attend the SOCA event or activity and you must follow the Return to Play Protocols below.
Reporting of COVID-19 Exposure
Any player, coach or staff member who has tested positive for COVID-19, are exhibiting signs or symptoms of COVID-19, or have come in close contact with someone who has tested positive for or is displaying signs or symptoms of COVID-19 are required to report this to SOCA at SOCA@SOCAspot.org.
In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) the identity of the individual and all medical information will be kept confidential and will only be shared with local health officials, if required.
Any player, coach or staff member who has tested positive for COVID-19, are exhibiting signs or symptoms of COVID-19, or have come in close contact with someone who has tested positive for or is displaying signs or symptoms of COVID-19 must follow the Return to Play Guidelines below.
Return to Play Protocols
These Protocols are intended to guide decision-making regarding players, coaches and staff members who have tested positive for COVID-19, are exhibiting signs or symptoms of COVID-19, or have come in close contact with someone who has tested positive for or is displaying signs or symptoms of COVID-19 in order to mitigate the risk of disease transmission.
Return to Play Following Confirmed or Suspected COVID-19 Infection:
Symptomatic player, coach or staff member with a suspected or laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infection cannot attend any SOCA related events or activities until:
- At least ten (10) days have passed since symptoms first appeared, AND
- At least twenty-four (24) hours with no fever without use of fever-reducing medication, AND
- Other symptoms have improved.
Return to Play Following Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 Who Have Not Had Any Symptoms:
Player, coach or staff member with a laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 who have not had any symptoms cannot attend any SOCA related events or activities until:
At least ten (10) days have passed since the date of your first positive COVID-19 diagnostic test, AND
- You continue to have no symptoms since the test. If symptoms develop, then management should be guided according to symptomatic individuals as listed above.
Return to Play Following Exposure to a Suspected or Diagnosed COVID-19 Infection
Any asymptomatic player, coach or staff member who has come in close contact with an individual with a suspected or diagnosed case of COVID-19 is restricted from participation in any SOCA related events or activities for at least fourteen (14) days and shall monitor for any symptoms described above.
If the player, coach or staff member is asymptomatic after fourteen (14) days since last exposure, they can return to SOCA events or activities. Here, “close contact” means any one of the following:
- Providing care for a sick person with a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection.
- Living in the same household as an individual with a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection.
- Being within six (6) feet of an individual with a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection for fifteen (15) minutes or more.
- Having exposure to respiratory secretions from an individual with a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection (e.g., being coughed or sneezed on, sharing water bottle or utensils, kissing, etc.).
Match / Practice Environment
SOCA offers many different programs for all age groups, genders and levels of play. Specific program considerations will be issued as necessary on a program by program basis. However, the following general protocols are in place for all SOCA activities. These protocols and procedures are designed to represent common-sense best practices that will limit exposure to COVID-19 during SOCA programming. SOCA’s number one priority is to establish an environment that is safe for all players and coaches using these guidelines.
- SOCA will adhere to the maximum allowable number of people per field restrictions in place. Parents will be asked to stay away from games and practices when necessary and possible.
- Schedules will include 30 minute buffer times between games to allow for egress and ingress between games.
- Sidelines will be marked for social distancing so that bench and spectator areas are well separated with ten feet of distance between individuals.
- Players will have designated places on their sideline to store water and equipment bags separated by ten feet from teammates.
- Coaches will not bring teams in for huddles for pre-game, halftime or post-game talks.
- No pre-game group cheers, no post game handshakes between teams, no sharing of water between players and no group goal celebrations or high fives.
- Players will be screened by parents before coming to events and by coaches once they arrive for COIVD symptoms. Anyone showing symptoms will be sent home.
- Equipment will be sanitized prior to each practice or game.
- Players are recommended to use hand sanitizer before and after every practice and game.
- Coaches will be required to wear masks whenever possible while on bench areas near players.
- Signage will be posted at all field sites with public health reminders and stating that no one with fever or symptoms of COVID-19 are allowed on the premises.
- All families will sign a waiver acknowledging the risks of participating in soccer with regard to COVID-19 and communicable diseases.
Players will be allowed normal physical contact during play. However, physical distancing measures will be taken outside of play.
When will Physical Distancing Occur?
- Water Breaks – Every player will have their own designated hydration area that will be 10 feet from the nearest player.
- Group Talks – Coaches must make sure players keep their 10 feet distance while delivering any group talks.
- Arriving and Departing the field – Players must maintain their 10 foot distance and not walk shoulder to shoulder.
Guidelines for Players
- Cannot be feeling sick or have a temperature of 100.4 or more.
- Players may not attend SOCA events if they have been in close contact with someone who has recently tested positive for COVID-19. (see close contact definition above)
- Each player is responsible for their own water, ball, and hand sanitizer.
- Players may not share water.
- Avoid touching soccer balls with their uncovered hands when possible.
- Must follow physical distancing protocols when not playing, should wear masks arriving and departing the fields and when on the sidelines not actively playing.
- Use hand sanitizer before and after each session.
- High fives, handshakes, hugs, and any other greeting or celebration that involves contact, are not permitted.
- Failure to comply with safety protocols may result in a dismissal from any SOCA session.
Guidelines for Coaches
- Any coach with a temperature of 100.4 or more, or feels sick cannot attend a SOCA session.
- Any coach who has been in close contact to COVID-19 may not participate until following the Return to Play protocol above.
- Must wear a mask when within 10 feet of a player.
- Sanitize hands before and after each session.
- Ensure any shared equipment is washed or sanitized between uses.
Guidelines for Parents
- Administer a temperature check to your player before attending a SOCA event. Must keep child at home if they are feeling sick or have a temperature of 100.4 or more.
- Must practice social distancing if attending matches. All households must maintain a distance of 10 feet when at an event. Parents should not attend practices and should stay away from the field unless there are extenuating circumstances.
- If attending a SOCA event all attendees must wear a face covering or mask.
- Make sure your child has the above-mentioned recommended items.
- Must notify your team coach if your child has tested positive for COVID-19 or is required to quarantine for a period of time.
- Help your player arrive on time and exit promptly after each SOCA event to avoid contact with others from earlier or later events.