Guidance for All Sports Permitted to Operate During the COVID-19 Disaster Emergency to Ensure the Safety and Health of Employees, Athletes and the Public
IntentThe virus that causes the Coronavirus 2019 Disease (“COVID-19”) is easily transmitted, especially in group settings, and it is essential that the spread of the virus be slowed to safeguard public health and safety.
COVID-19 can be transmitted from infected individuals even if they are asymptomatic or their symptoms are mild, such as a cough. It can also be spread by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes. This guidance document addresses the procedures sports organizations and teams must follow to limit the spread of COVID-19 to the extent they are permitted to conduct in-person operations.
This guidance is preliminary and will be updated as more public health data and other information is available.
Organizations Subject to This GuidanceThe Commonwealth is employing a regional and industry-specific approach to reopening non-life sustaining businesses. For more information, and up to date county designations, please refer to the Commonwealth’s Phased Reopening website.
All sports in Pennsylvania, including professional, collegiate, Pre-K to 12 school athletics, and amateur and recreational sports, are covered by this guidance.
Sports organizations and teams may only conduct in-person operations if they are able to do so in accordance with all applicable guidance. They are not required to reopen per this guidance.
Significance of Red-Yellow-Green Phases for Sports in PennsylvaniaNo sports (professional, collegiate, Pre-K to 12, recreational or amateur) are allowed in counties designated as being in the Red phase.
Professional SportsProfessional sports is defined as any sporting event at which the participants are paid by a league or team, or at which individuals or teams receive prizes or purse.
Effective immediately, professional sports teams may practice and play in counties designated in the Yellow phase of reopening provided the team, the team’s governing body, or league, on behalf of the team, has a COVID-19 safety plan approved by Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH). The plan must include, at minimum, a process for testing or screening for COVID-19, and monitoring all on-premises attendees. In the Yellow phase, no fans or spectators are allowed in or directly outside of the site or venue.
Professional sports organizations in counties designated in the Green phase are permitted to practice or play on site with fewer than 250 people, provided they follow orders issued by the Secretary of Health and recommendations issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other health or athletics-based organizations. The sports organization is not required to submit a safety plan for approval to DOH if fewer than 250 people are present on site or directly outside of the site.
Professional sports organizations in counties designated in the Green phase that want to play or practice with more than 250 people on site or directly outside of the site must submit a plan to DOH for approval. At this stage of reopening, the administration strongly discourages the attendance of spectators or fans in or directly outside of the site or venue.