The SODA Blog

The official blog of the Sportsplex Operators & Developers Association

N.H. Task force approves reopening guidelines for camps, youth sports !

The task force making recommendations for reopening sectors of the New Hampshire economy unanimously approved guidelines Tuesday for summer camps, museums and, after some debate, youth sports.

The group heard a lengthy presentation Monday about how to safely reopen youth and amateur sports in New Hampshire in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Phase 1 would allow for small group workouts of 10 people or less with distancing guidelines that officials said would allow athletes to practice skills and get back in shape.

Phase 2 would increase the group size to 50 to allow scrimmages and games, but one task force member had concerns because children are involved.

“There’s risk involved in any of this reopening, and we, as a task force, weigh these issues very, very carefully,” said state Sen. Shannon Chandley. “I know public health later weighs in very carefully and, certainly, the governor.”

The task force agreed to send a letter to public health officials asking them to carefully vet the proposal, acknowledging that while the guidelines will apply to all sports, some low-contact sports, such as baseball and softball, might have an easier time following the proposed rules.

There were also questions Tuesday about lodging and concerns about handling visitors from other states. The task force is going to ask Maine and Vermont officials about what they’re doing.

“Nothing that other states are doing is binding, but in some cases, it can help inform public health and the governor,” said D.J. Bettencourt, the governor’s policy director.

The task force was expected to vote on guidelines for adult day care, but that was removed from consideration so more work could be done on the proposal.

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