Jensen, McFetridge block

Vale's Preslee Jensen (15) and Tessa McFetridge (10) celebrate a block against Nampa Christian on Sept. 5.

WILSONVILLE — High school athletes in Oregon are one step closer to getting back to action, as the Oregon School Activities Association released its information for Phase 2 of getting students back to competition.

In Phase 2 of the OSAA’s guidance, the number of participants in activities has been altered from 25 (inside or outside) to 50 inside and 100 outside in a single facility or field. The guidance also demands that a distance of six feet be maintained between participants.

The guidance is also asking that athletes wear cloth face coverings when not actively participating in practice (attending meetings, entering/exiting facilities, when on sidelines or the bench). Athletes are also asked to bring their own water bottles.

The OSAA has also created descriptions for what practices can look like in Phase 2. In Phase 1, the OSAA mandated that there be no sharing of equipment and no grouping. In Phase 2, small group workouts are allowed. While there is still no grouping allowed, the OSAA is allowing limited sharing of equipment (this includes sharing balls).

Part of the OSAA’s guidance includes that all school facility use be cleared in advance through the school district.

The initial guidance by the OSAA was released on May 20.

The OSAA is also reminding schools that on-campus activities are not allowed, as Oregon Gov. Kate Brown issued Executive Order 20-20 in March. That order closed public schools in Oregon for the remainder of the fiscal year (June 30).

On June 3, PACE sent an update to superintendents around Oregon updating them that a violation of Brown’s order will jeopardize their PACE coverage.

“Schools should be aware that PACE will not provide coverage for claims if a school intentionally violates Executive Order 20-20, ODE guidance or any other federal, state or local law,” the email states. “As of July 1, 2020, any claims arising from communicable diseases such as COVID-19 will be entirely excluded from PACE coverage.”

Nik Streng is the sports reporter for the Argus Observer. He graduated from the University of Oregon in 2015 with a master's degree in journalism, after graduating from Pacific University in 2013 with a degree in creative writing.

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