Warren County leaders continue to review new New York state guidance pertaining to the potential resumption of “higher risk” sports competitions on Feb. 1. New York State has given its counties the authority to allow some competitions to resume next week after an analysis of health-related criteria.
New York State’s changes to COVID-related sports guidelines related to “higher risk sports” such as ice hockey, wrestling, basketball and martial arts read as follows:
Effective February 1, 2021, participants in higher risk sports and recreation activities may partake in individual or distanced group training and organized no/low contact group training and, further, may partake in other types of play, including competitions and tournaments, only as permitted by the respective local health authorities (i.e., county health departments).
Local health authorities should consider the following factors in authorizing or continuing to prohibit higher risk sports and recreational activities as, in many areas, these factors may weigh against permitting such activities:
▪ whether there has been a more-transmissible variant of COVID-19 identified in the area
▪ local rates of COVID-19 transmission or rate of positivity
▪ local ability to monitor and enforce compliance.
Numerous discussions and meetings have occurred since Friday that involved Warren County Health Services, medical experts, Warren County leaders and their counterparts from other counties to look at the pros and cons of these sports-related decisions going forward. Warren County personnel plan further discussions with their colleagues from neighboring counties to learn their thoughts on these changes.
Ginelle Jones, Warren County Health Services Director, said: “We understand there is a lot of interest in allowing some additional indoor sports to resume. This is a major decision that could have wide-ranging effects on COVID cases going forward, and we are consulting with our medical experts and state and regional partners to make sure our decisions are based on the best and most current information available.
Rachel Seeber, Chairwoman for the Warren County Board of Supervisors, said, “Without a doubt, our Warren County Supervisors understand that there are many unanswered questions regarding the state's recent guidance late last Friday as it relates to allowing higher risk sports and recreation activities to resume. We are working hard with our partners that connect to our community so that we can make good, informed decisions as a region that continue to be in the best interest of the health and well-being of all Warren County residents and our neighbors.”
Warren County will publicly detail its decisions on this issue when they are made. In the interim, we ask that those who are involved in any sports activities continue do so using safety plans and COVID-related protocols to maintain a safe environment.