COVID-19 vaccine

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Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Youth, schools, community, and club sports guidance

The following is intended as a plain-language summary of rules during the COVID-19 emergency and does not replace the need to follow all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations.

College and professional teams must submit plans to the Health Department for approval. For information about gyms and recreational facilities, see Gyms and recreational facilities guidance.

The Department of Public Health permits participation in indoor and outdoor sports and activities coordinated by youth, community, and school leagues.

Protections needed


  • Indoors masks must be worn by all players, coaches, and officials at all times at all practices and games, matches and meets regardless of distance from others.  No exceptions unless in the pool or on the starting blocks for swimming.
  • Anyone unable or unwilling to mask may not participate as a player, coach, or official.
  • Outdoors masks must be worn at all times when a distance of 6 feet cannot be maintained.
  • Masks must be at least 2-ply, should not have gaps and should not fall down. Face shields are not a replacement for a face mask.


  • Screen every attendee for symptoms before every practice and prevent them from remaining on site if they have cough, shortness of breath, fever, chills, muscle pain, or new loss of taste or smell.
  • It is not necessary to conduct onsite temperature measurements. If you measure temperatures, use a no-touch thermometer, and do not allow anyone with a temperature of 100.4 F or higher to remain onsite.


  • When not participating on the field of play, maintain physical distancing of at least 6 feet from all other participants at all times, including on benches.
  • Adjust the physical environment as needed to remind participants to stay at least 6 feet apart. For example, place cones or other markers at regular intervals on bleachers to mark seating places for any persons not actively participating in the activity.
  • Limit unnecessary physical contact with other participants, including shaking hands, fist bumps, or high fives.

Reduce crowds

  • Indoor sporting events and gatherings are limited to 15% of maximum occupancy regardless of venue size. Outdoor sporting events and gatherings are limited to 20% of maximum occupancy. These limits include all staff and athletes.
  • No food is permitted at any indoor game or event.
  • If food is permitted at an outdoor game or event, no more than 100 people may be present.
  • For sports during the school day, students should remain in their cohorts.


  • Require handwashing or hand sanitizer use on arrival.
  • Encourage handwashing during time-outs and breaks.
  • Place hand sanitizing station(s) at side-lines.
  • Teach participants to avoid touching their face or mask and to clean hands before and after removing mask.


  • Wipe down shared equipment with disinfectant between use by different people.
  • All participants should bring their own water and drinks to activities. Shared water coolers through disposable cups are not allowed. Fixed water fountains should not be used.


  • When indoors if possible, increase ventilation in the building by either:
    • Opening windows and/or doors on opposite sides of the building and using fans to blow outside air through the building OR
    • Optimizing ventilation provided by the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system by:
      • Having the HVAC system checked to assure that it is working properly. If it can be adjusted, the system should be set to provide at least 6 air exchanges per hour.
      • Maximizing the amount of outside air circulated by the system.
      • Installing filters with minimum efficiency reporting values (MERV) of 13, or the highest compatible with the filter rack. It is not necessary to use high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters or ultraviolet light irradiation systems.
      • Checking that the external air inlet duct is not blocked and that it is at least 15 feet from people.


  • Educate staff, volunteers, parents, and participants about symptoms and prevention of COVID-19.
  • Ask individuals who are sick or who have had close contact with someone with COVID-19 within the past 10 days not to enter, stay home and follow CDC quarantine guidelines. If you do not have any symptoms, you may end your quarantine period after:
    • Day 10 without testing OR,
    • Day 7 after receiving a negative test result (lab-based or rapid) after day 5.
  • Persons who have been fully vaccinated do not need to quarantine when exposed to someone with COVID-19 if they meet all of the following criteria:
    • They are fully vaccinated, and it’s been at least 2 weeks after the last dose in the vaccine series;
    • They are within 3 months following receipt of the last dose in the series; AND,
    • They have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure.
  • Vaccination is not 100% effective.
    • Anyone who develops COVID-19 symptoms should get tested.
    • Anyone who is positive for COVID-19 must isolate according to CDC guidelines.
    • After vaccination you must still wear a mask, keep your distance & avoid crowds.

See also:

  • Text COVIDPHL to 888-777 to receive updates to your phone.
  • Call (800) 722-7112 to speak to a health care professional on the Greater Philadelphia Coronavirus Helpline.