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Lincoln youth sports and activities may resume Monday

Published: Dec. 3, 2020 at 2:10 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department announced Thursday that following a three-week postponement, youth sports and activities may resume Monday, December 7 with new and strengthened protocols in place to protect the health and safety of all those involved. Those who operate, coach or supervise K-12 extracurricular group activities as well as facilities that host these activities are now required to submit an Extracurricular Activity Plan to LLCHD and will be required to report any COVID-19 cases to LLCHD.

Nebraska ONE volleyball courts and Lincoln Elite Gymnastics are just two complexes that have sat empty for the past three weeks.

“It was really devastating because we have so many gymnasts that come here weekly,” said Sabrina Lenhoff, Lincoln Elite Gymnastics Owner. “They look forward to it.”

“To have youth sorts be the brunt of it.. the only thing shut down... that was hard to swallow,” said Tonia Tauke, Nebraska ONE Owner.

Youth sports get the green light in four days, but the gym owners still want people to be cautious.

“Our battle isn’t over,” said Tauke. “Just because we’re open we have to do the best we can to stay with the regulations and slow the spread. It doesn’t take much for the youth sports to be shut down.”

A template, sample plan, and guidance document is available on the “Business Resources” page at COVID19.lincoln.ne.gov. LLCHD staff will review plans quickly to allow extracurricular activities to resume once the plans are approved.

More information will be shared at the news briefing scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Friday, December 4. 10/11 will carry the briefing live on 1011now.com

The COVID-19 Risk Dial remains in red, indicating that the risk of the virus spreading is severe. Health Director Pat Lopez said the pause on youth sports and activities was necessary to prevent the spread of the virus as schools, organizations, coaches, and activity participants worked with LLCHD to re-evaluate, strategize, and prepare for a safe return.

“Thank you to all those schools and organizations that have worked with us to develop protocols to protect all those involved and their families,” Lopez said. “Requiring teams to have plans and to report COVID-19 cases are critical steps for reducing the spread of the virus in our community. "

For more information, visit COVID19.lincoln.ne.gov or call the Health Department at 402-441-6280.

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