CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Executive Director of the WVSSAC, Bernie Dolan, addressed concerns and questions surrounding high school athletics during a pair of press conferences on Wednesday.
Dolan was present during Governor Jim Justice’s COVID-19 briefing Wednesday morning. He was also one of the panel members during a statewide address by members of the West Virginia Department of Education.
“(We) Certainly feel like we’re in a much better position than we were a year ago,” said Dolan during the 2 p.m. news briefing on education in the state.
During that news conference, Dolan outlined that some of the requirements that were in place last fall, such as players and teams staying in small groups; and not bringing everyone into the locker room at once, have been reduced to recommendations. The WVSSAC is still asking teams to use common sense when it comes to taking measures that could help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Despite any questions that may remain about how necessary high school sports are during the pandemic, Dolan stressed that it’s crucial for young people to be together and interact in an extracurricular stand point of any kind, including athletics.
Dolan added that the WVSSAC has not been made aware of any COVID-19 outbreaks involving sports in recent months.
High school sports didn’t do much slowing down during the summer, as the high school baseball season wrapped up in June; teams could use flex days beginning in June; and the three-week practice period was held beginning in early July.
Both Dolan, and State Superintendent of Schools Clayton Burch, said on Wednesday that high school sports will not be bound to any COVID-19-related maps by the state. Dolan added that one of the biggest things the WVSSAC has learned this year is that dealing with individual schools and school districts has been a more effective way of determining which teams to sideline if there is an outbreak.
Dolan said in both news conferences that he was a part of on Wednesday that a student-athlete who is vaccinated against COVID-19 will not be subject to quarantine.
More comments from Dolan’s appearance at the state capitol building in Charleston can be heard by clicking on the video below.