Return to Play
Return to Play Protocol Clarification
Updated January 25, 2022
All athletes who have tested positive for COVID-19 must still be cleared by a physician before returning to athletic activities. This requirement has not changed since the implementation of our Bulldogs Athletics Reset Plan in 2020-2021. Medical clearance can be obtained simply by contacting DASH at (607) 746-7454 as your child approaches the end of their isolation or quarantine period. The clearance can be granted in person or over the phone in most cases, regardless of your registration status with DASH. The district received the following communication from our Medical Director:
The recent change in CDC guidelines to shorten the recommended home isolation period for people with COVID-19 to 5 days has generated a lot of questions about the timing of return to participation (RTP) in PE and sports after a COVID positive test. Bassett pediatricians who serve as school medical directors and who oversee the School Based Health centers have met to address these questions, and we write today to provide clarification and rationale for our recommendations.
There is an important distinction between isolation duration and RTP. The two issues are not linked in the way they might at first appear to be. The CDC's recommendations for isolation concern themselves with questions of contagion and spread of disease. Our recommendations for RTP, on the other hand, are designed to address the known risk of cardiac complications from COVID-19 infection. That risk is not tied in any easily detected way to the symptoms of acute COVID-19 illness and may not even show up until after typical COVID symptoms have resolved.
Given this, it remains our recommendation that schools follow the return to play algorithm we distributed at the beginning of the academic year, a copy of which is attached. This guidance is based on that provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Should the AAP modify its recommendations, we will update ours accordingly.
We know that these are frustrating times for school staff, students and parents, and we appreciate your partnership in ensuring the health and safety of our students and athletes.
Monica Brané, MD, FAAP
William Fredette, MD, FAAP
Chris Kjolhede, MD, FAAP
Kerri LeBlanc, MD, FAAP