FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 2, 2021
IMPLEMENTATION WINDOW CREATED FOR HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT-ATHLETES TO GET COVID-19 VACCINATION
WASHINGTON, D.C. – To ensure strong implementation and operation of the D.C. student-athlete COVID-19 vaccine mandate, the City Administrator’s office has established an implementation window from November 1 to December 1. During this window, DC State Athletic Association member schools are not required to exclude unvaccinated student-athletes from school-based extracurricular athletics.
This period will enable school personnel to establish and execute systems to collect, review, certify and record proof of COVID-19 vaccination, as well as medical and religious exemptions.
During this period, any student-athlete who has not received the full course of COVID-19 vaccination is required to wear a mask during all athletic events and is strongly encouraged to participate in weekly testing for COVID-19.
This additional period applies only to student-athletes. It does not apply to adult school employees, contractors, interns or volunteers, including athletic directors, coaches, trainers and game officials. These individuals must have already received their COVID-19 vaccination or have a medical or religious exemption.
Beginning December 1, student-athletes who have not received a full course of vaccination against COVID-19 are not permitted to participate in any school-based extracurricular athletics, including tryouts, practices, drills, conditioning and competitions until they provide proof of a full course of vaccination or receive an exemption. In order to receive a full course of vaccination by December 1, student-athletes must receive the first dose of a two-dose series no later than November 9.
Schools are expected to set strong internal deadlines to ensure that medical and religious exemptions can be reviewed and processed by December 1. LEAs and schools are responsible for processing and reviewing these exemptions, as well as conveying the seriousness of the mandate. LEAs and schools should send letters of non-compliance to unvaccinated student-athletes, excuse unvaccinated student-athletes from practices to receive their COVID-19 vaccination, and support student-athletes and their families with information about vaccine clinics. These efforts are aimed at ensuring health and safety and maintaining eligibility for every athletic opportunity.
If an exemption is denied before December 1, a student-athlete has five days to show proof of receiving the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, at which point they will remain eligible to participate in school-based athletics.
After December 1, student-athletes applying for an exemption will be excluded from school-based athletics until they receive an approved exemption or show proof of a full course of vaccination.
Student-athletes who receive a medical or religious exemption will be required to wear a mask during all athletic events and they must be tested weekly for COVID-19 and provide a negative result to continue athletic participation.
As a reminder, it is illegal to make false statements on government forms, including filing applications for exemptions in bad faith.
To learn more about the District of Columbia State Athletic Association, please visit www.dcsaasports.org.
CONTACT: Josh Barr, firstname.lastname@example.org