Athletic Director Mr. Chris George Comments on Updated COVID Sports Protocols


Lukas Werner

The La Salle Cross Country team begins their practice with warmups.

Kathleen Waldron, Staff Reporter

Similar to the precautions taken during sports seasons of last year, La Salle’s student athletes playing fall and winter sports this year have followed updated protocols and regulations as they practice and compete.

La Salle’s athletic director Mr. Chris George provided insight on some of the ways sports teams are attempting to maintain safe environments as the pandemic continues. 

According to Mr. George, La Salle’s teams have been “following the Oregon Health Authority and OSAA protocols” along with other teams in Oregon. Those protocols mandate that coaches and staff are required to wear a mask indoors and outdoors, students are not required to wear a mask indoors or outdoors while playing, and spectators of 5 years or older are required to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status. “We follow all [of] those to a tee,” Mr. George said.

Depending on the sport, COVID-19 protocols can differ, the main difference being whether the sport is played indoors and outdoors, Mr. George said. 

“In the gymnasium, when you’re playing volleyball, you do not have to wear a mask while you’re playing,” Mr. George said. However, masks are required while exercising in the Saalfeld Athletic Center.

Not only have rules for gameplay changed, but some traditions that teams look forward to have been put on hold. “When they do pregame meals, we’re trying to have them eat outside,” Mr. George said. “We’re trying to have them eat like normal, like they do at lunch.”

In regards to the topic of vaccination status requirements for La Salle staff and students, “there is not a requirement for athletes, [and] there is a requirement for coaches,” Mr. George said. Starting on Oct. 18, La Salle coaching staff was required to be fully vaccinated, along with all healthcare workers, K-12 grade educators, state employees, and other workers across the state

“If coaches weren’t vaccinated, then they wouldn’t be able to continue coaching,” Mr. George said.

Quarantines have also been incorporated into La Salle’s protocols, with individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19 being required to quarantine for ten days. However, for fully vaccinated individuals, the quarantine protocol does not apply unless one has shown symptoms.

As fall sports seasons draw to a close in the next month and the winter season begins, Mr. George expressed admiration for students at La Salle and the vigilance with which they have been following the protocols put in place. 

“It’s been impressive to watch some of our captains and our leaders remind others to [wear their masks], ” Mr. George said