First phase of 'return to play' guidelines begins for Pinellas County student-athletes

Athletes in the Pinellas County School District were able to return to the field Monday as the district kicked off summer practices. School officials have implemented a three-phase plan along with numerous guidelines in order to make sure their athletes and coaches are staying safe during the pandemic.

Monday marked the first day of phase one of the plan. The first phase will last until June 28. During phase one,  only outdoor facility workouts will be allowed as the gym, locker rooms and weight rooms will all still be closed.

No more than 30 people can be at a workout at one time, and there can only be ten people in each group. Practices are going to be a little shorter than usual as they will be limited to only 60 minutes. 

Phase two will kick-off June 29 and last until July 12. The second phase will largely depend on how well phase one goes. During phase two, reopening the weight room and gym will be considered, and the district will reevaluate how many people can be allowed at practices at one time. 

Phase three will take place from July 13 to July 26. There are no guidelines in place for the third phase just yet, as district leader say they want to see how phase one and phase two play out. 

In addition to the three-part plan, the district has also laid out numerous guidelines for both young athletes and coaches to adhere to during their summer practices. 

There will be daily screenings for all individuals who participate. They’ll have to fill out a form with numerous questions on it about how they’re feeling or who they may have been around. If they answer "yes" to any of those questions, they will not be allowed to be at practice for that day, or possibly until they’ve been seen by a doctor. 

All students will need to fill out a COVID-19 release form, and every individual will be asked to wear masks while at practice facilities. 

For a full list of the changes and guidelines, visit the Pinellas County School District's website.