Milford delays start of high school sports, will require waivers, medical clearance

Foran and Law athletes will have to wait for more documentation before participating in their chosen sport.

Foran and Law athletes will have to wait for more documentation before participating in their chosen sport.

David G. Whitham / For Hearst Connecticut Media

While high schools in the state had the okay from the CIAC to begin practice for winter sports starting Tuesday, athletes at Foran High and Jonathan Law will have to go through more guidelines before participating, according to a letter co-authored by Dr. Anna Cutaia (Superintendent of Schools) and Deepa Joseph (Health Director) and sent to the community on Wednesday afternoon.

“We as a district, health department, and families of winter sport athletes still have some work to do to prepare for a safe return for all of our athletes,” the letter read. “Therefore, we want to share critical information for parents and athletes to prepare for documentation that will be required for clearance to return to play.”

A parent waiver, as well as a medical clearance form based on medical history, are part of the documentation needed. Prior to the start of in person practices and tryouts, all athletes will be required to have a signed Notice of Risks/Informed Consent form before they will be able to participate.

The letter stated that this form is under development and could be ready for release by the end of the week.

“Additionally, as a result of the most recent guidance provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) related to returning to physical activity after a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, we will be requiring all athletes who have had a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 to obtain medical clearance by his/her doctor through a signed evaluation form,” noted the letter. “The Health Department is waiting for additional guidance from the CT Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (due to be released later this week) before finalizing such waiver.”

The letter was sent to inform families so they can make appointments for their student athletes where the requirement is necessary.

It read: “We recommend that you reach out to your child’s primary care physician to begin this process ASAP. Please remember that the safety of our athletes is our number one priority. We appreciate your patience during this challenging time and will continue to communicate as we get closer to identifying a start date for our winter season as soon as possible.”

Other Schools on Hold

SCC commissioner Al Carbone told GameTimeCT he has heard from most conference schools regarding when practice can begin. He is still awaiting word on the Milford schools, Branford and East Haven.

“There is an entire new element in athletic administration in local health departments, another stakeholder we have to deal with,” Carbone said.

According to an email sent out by Branford athletic director Tom Ermini, obtained by Hearst Connecticut Media, the East Shore District Health Department recommended to “area Superintendents” that athletics not resume until Feb. 1. East Haven also normally follows East Shore District health guidance.

Branford is currently conducting virtual conditioning.

Most of the league’s schools began practice on Tuesday. New Haven began with virtual practices and will move to full in-person practices on Thursday. Guilford is looking to begin next week.

League schedules and fan policies are to be finalized by the school’s principals. Last fall, fan policy was determined by each district.

“I think we have to take it slow and not have spectators the first couple of weeks, then revisit it,” Carbone said.