After previously banning indoor athletic facilities, Fauquier County’s school system's central office is allowing interior sports workouts at the county’s three high schools.
"We told [the central office] we need to get people in the building now, so we can start monitoring and see how it goes," said Fauquier High activities director Mark Ott, who noted schools are opening for limited indoor classes on Nov. 9 with winter sports practices commencing Dec. 7.
He pointed out the schools are hosting ACT, SAT and PSAT testing. Classes such as auto body are taking place in schools, and the libraries are in use daily, "but our athletes can't come in, so we started complaining because the athletes are the only ones getting screened.”
Added Ott, "The other people just walk into the building," while athletes have a temperature check and are screened for any possible COVID-19 symptoms.
Still, the athletes and coaches do not have carte blanche, Kettle Run AD Paul Frye stressed.
He said the limit still stands at 10 people per gym including coaches, but the ceiling rises significantly next Monday to 30. "Five per basket. Nothing live. No defense, but you can do drills, dummy offense and things like that," said Frye.
Wrestling also has a limited green light. The team must bring mats out of its practice area into a gymnasium to ensure distancing and better air circulation. "It's just individual drilling. No body contact or live wrestling yet," Frye said.
All winter teams may return to full workouts Nov. 19. As expected, coaches welcome loosening the restrictions.
"It was great and surreal at the same time," Liberty boys basketball coach Pat Frazer said. "To think that we haven’t been in the gym in seven months is just so weird. But we are thrilled to be back in."