Due to concerns surrounding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and other health authorities, USSSA is implementing some new, mandatory health and safety procedures as part of a proactive approach to preventing the spread of germs.
Throughout the USSSA organization, we are adopting these new measures effective immediately. We cannot stress enough how vital it is that all USSSA participants adhere to these guidelines.
USSSA is immediately instituting a precautionary “no-contact, no-handshake policy” to be observed at every level of the organization until further notice. This includes all physical contact and extends to customary game-related activities, such as pre-game coaches’ handshakes, umpire-coach introductions, and post-game handshakes between members of opposing teams. Instead, staff, players and coaches should use verbal queues, such as saying “good game,” without shaking hands, high-fiving or fist-bumping.
Maintain Good Hygiene Practices
All USSSA employees, membership and participants in USSSA-sanctioned events should be aware of the coronavirus risk and take the necessary precautions to avoid exposure to germs. This includes maintaining good hygiene practices. We strongly recommend the following:
- Wash your hands often, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds each time
- If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol; this is suggested after any physical contact with another person or with a shared surface
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
- Cover your mouth and nose – with a tissue, if possible – when coughing or sneezing, then properly discard the tissue in the trash
- Avoid close contact with anyone else who is coughing or sneezing or who is otherwise sick
- Clean or disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
Advice from the CDC
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has a specific Q&A regarding the virus in children:
Q: Are children more susceptible to the virus that causes COVID-19 compared with the general population and how can infection be prevented? A: No, there is no evidence that children are more susceptible… – see here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/children-faq.html
We will provide updates related to these new measures or let you know about any additional precautions to take if and when they become necessary. We appreciate your cooperation in following these new procedures as we work together to maintain the highest health and safety standards as an organization.