School officials encourage testing for BHS student-athletes

Winter sports season starts Monday

Posted 1/9/21

Barrington school officials are recommending that student-athletes participating in a winter sport get an asymptomatic BinaxNOW test before the start of practices.

The district announced the news …

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School officials encourage testing for BHS student-athletes

Winter sports season starts Monday

Posted

Barrington school officials are recommending that student-athletes participating in a winter sport get an asymptomatic BinaxNOW test before the start of practices.

The district announced the news in an email on Thursday, and Barrington High School’s winter sports team practices are expected to officially begin on Monday, Jan. 11. The winter sports season includes basketball, gymnastics, ice hockey, indoor track and field, and swimming.

The email suggested student-athletes schedule the test through portal.ri.gov. 

Barrington Superintendent of Schools Michael Messore said the district is working toward establishing an onsite testing program. When that program is available, the testing for student-athletes could be made mandatory, he said.

Mr. Messore said the testing for student-athletes is for the start of the season, not on a reoccurring basis, although that too could change if the district is able to offer onsite testing.

Mr. Messore said Barrington schools are also hoping to bring an onsite testing program to the district’s entire student and staff population. He said three Barrington staff members were completing training on Friday, Jan. 8 for the onsite program. Mr. Messore said it was not clear how soon the onsite testing would be available in Barrington.

He said the state will provide test kits to Barrington schools; the district must submit a full plan to the Rhode Island Department of Education for the onsite testing. Once the plan is approved, the district could begin.

“There’s a process,” Mr. Messore said.

Protocols for practice

According to the district’s email to student-athletes, coaches and athletes will be asked daily screening questions; must wear masks at all time; maintain social distancing; and avoid carpooling with others outside their family units.

“Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 should stay home from school and sports, notify the school of their symptoms, and contact their healthcare provider for advice,” stated the email. “Staff or students with symptoms can call the PreK-12 COVID-19 Test Scheduling Service at 844-857-1814 or portal.ri.gov to schedule a test. You do not have to pay for testing. Even if you don’t have health insurance, you can get a test. The facilities, bathrooms, and other spaces used by the students and staff will be cleaned before students/staff return in accordance with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Rhode Island Department of Health.”

The middle school boys and girls basketball teams are scheduled to begin their seasons on Jan. 19.

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