WORTON — To promote safe participation of students, coaches, officials and spectators, the Bayside Conference — the governing body of public high school sports on the Eastern Shore of Maryland — has announced a new set of protocols for the 2021-22 winter season.

All students participating in an interscholastic athletic activity that requires the removal of a face mask are subject to the following testing protocols:

• Unvaccinated students must be tested for COVID-19 at a minimum of once every 14 calendar days.

• Vaccinated students are encouraged, but not required, to participate in the surveillance testing program outlined above. If there is a positive case of COVID-19 within the student's cohort, they must be tested.

• A student-athlete who misses a scheduled test for COVID-19 is ineligible to participate in practices or competition until the test has been taken and negative test results are provided to the student's school.

• A student-athlete who tests positive for COVID-19 is ineligible for practice or competition until they complete the exclusion/quarantine requirements(s) set forth by the local school system.

Coaches also are required to adhere to the surveillance testing program above, in addition to all COVID-19 testing protocols established by the local school system.

Officials who wear a face mask while officiating do not need to complete routine testing or show proof of COVID-19 vaccination.

Officials who choose to officiate while not wearing a mask will be required to participate in routine COVID-19 testing or provide proof of vaccination.

To ensure spectator safety, indoor competition venues will be open at limited capacity that allows for appropriate physical distancing. 

A limited number of passes will be issued to athletes for their guests to attend home (four passes) and away (two passes) competitions. Procedures for issuing passes are being established by the Bayside Conference member schools; pass holders are still subject to any entry fees.

All spectators will be required tp wear a face mask while in an indoor competition venue.

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