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Oregon high school sports face uncertain future during pandemic

Some school districts have opened athletic facilities for summer workouts, while others are waiting for their counties to move into Phase 2.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Athletes and coaches are looking forward to getting back to competition. 

In the Salem-Keizer District, schools have reopened athletic facilities. At McNary High School, they’re doing all their activities outside right now. Marion County is in Phase 2 of reopening and schools are following guidelines set out by the state closely.

“Athletes stay 6 feet apart. Coaches are required to wear masks, student-athletes are requested to wear masks but it’s not required,” said McNary Athletic Director Scott Gragg.

Some local school districts are facing challenges. The athletic director at Lake Oswego’s Lakeridge High School says they've decided to postpone conditioning workouts and practices for football until Clackamas County enters Phase 2 of reopening.   

EForce Sports held a speed and agility workout at Lakeridge on July 9 for about a dozen athletes from Lakeridge and several other schools. One of the athletes found out after the workout that he had been exposed to the virus. He later tested positive. EForce Sports notified families of all the athletes involved. Before the workout, they did temperature checks on the athletes and practiced social distancing.

The OSAA, the organization that oversees high school sports in Oregon, is trying to get a handle on what will happen this fall with students and the activities they participate in.

“We do believe it's important to be able to offer them something, whatever it is, as much as it is we can do safely," said OSAA Executive Director Peter Weber. 

The OSAA has fall schedules posted on its website but will continue following state guidelines to determine if those games can be played. For the latest on the OSAA's coronavirus guidelines, click here.

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