COVID-19 Updates & Guidelines

Updated January 12, 2022.

Newton Girls Soccer is committed to keeping our community safe by implementing and enforcing the MA Youth Soccer Association Return to Soccer Guidelines. Our expectation is that every family, player, coach and volunteer follow current federal, state, and local COVID-19 guidelines. If you need to report a COVID case or unsafe behaviors during NGS practices or games, please let us know.

Given the nature of this pandemic, the guidelines are continuously being reviewed and updated. Please check this page frequently for the current status of our return to soccer activities.

NGS Safety Measures

All NGS participants must read and follow safety measures and protocols to minimize the risk of transmitting COVID-19 among members of the soccer community. NGS protocols comply with the MA Youth Soccer Association (MYSA), which gets their guidance from the Commonwealth of MA EEA, MA DESE and MA DPH. When registering for NGS programs, all parents must acknowledge having read the MYSA PROTOCOLS (October 28 update) and sign the MYSA PLAYER PARTICIPANT RELEASE OF LIABILITY. For the safety of our community, anyone who cannot follow these rules will be asked not to participate. We are not requiring proof of vaccination in order to play.

NGS participants include players, coaches, referees, volunteers, guardians, spectators, and other officials.

Based on current guidelines, we are enforcing the following safety measures and protocols:

Participants SYMPTOMATIC for COVID-19 may not attend soccer activities (regardless of vaccination status).

  • Participants must self-assess their health before every NGS activity. (Coaches may not take player temperatures.)
  • Participants must be in good health to participate in any NGS activity. If a player shows any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 at a practice or game, they will be sent home and instructed to contact their healthcare provider.
  • Symptomatic individuals may return to training once they are cleared by a healthcare provider (negative PCR test, antigen test, or alternative medical diagnosis) and have been symptom-free for 24 hours. A doctor’s note must be provided.
  • When in doubt, sit out. Players at high risk for developing severe illness should not participate in this program.

Participants TESTING POSITIVE for COVID-19 (regardless of vaccination status) will not be allowed to return to training until any symptoms have resolved and they are cleared by a healthcare provider. 

  • Notify NGS if a participant tests positive for COVID-19.
  • All individuals who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate for a minimum of 5 days after symptom onset (or specimen collection date if asymptomatic).
  • Participants may return to soccer on day 6 after testing positive for COVID-19, if they (1) have been symptom-free for 24 hours without taking fever reducing medication and (2) are allowed to return to school or work based on the guidance provided by their healthcare professional, Newton Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), or the player’s school.
  • Repeat viral testing is not required to return to soccer.

Participants identified as CLOSE CONTACTS who are ASYMPTOMATIC and FULLY VACCINATED may continue participate in soccer activities unless otherwise advised by contact tracers or local health officials.

  • A person is fully vaccinated two-weeks following the completion of the Pfizer or Moderna series or two-weeks following a single dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.
  • Fully vaccinated individuals are expected to monitor for symptoms. If they experience symptoms, they must stay home and get tested.
  • Close contacts are individuals who have been within 6 feet of a COVID-19 positive individual while indoors, for at least 15 minutes during a 24-hour period while the positive person was infectious. The infectious period begins 48 hours prior to symptom onset (or time of positive test if asymptomatic). This definition applies even if both the close contact and the case are wearing face coverings, regardless of vaccination status.

Participants identified as CLOSE CONTACTS who are ASYMPTOMATIC and NOT FULLY VACCINATED will not be allowed to return to training until the date provided by a healthcare provider.

  • A person is fully vaccinated two-weeks following the completion of the Pfizer or Moderna series or two-weeks following a single dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.
  • Close contacts are individuals who have been within 6 feet of a COVID-19 positive individual while indoors, for at least 15 minutes during a 24-hour period while the positive person was infectious. The infectious period begins 48 hours prior to symptom onset (or time of positive test if asymptomatic). This definition applies even if both the close contact and the case are wearing face coverings, regardless of vaccination status.
  • If a player, coach or administrator is identified as a close contact, they can return to soccer activities on the date provided to them their healthcare professional, Newton Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), or the player’s school (unless they are participating in the school’s test and stay program). This is typically on the 6th day following exposure.  
  • Protocols for a school’s test and stay program do not apply to soccer. Close contacts who are participating in test and stay may not participate in NGS activities for 5 days from the date of last contact.  They may return on day 6, provided that they remain asymptomatic, conduct active monitoring for symptoms through day 10, self-isolate if symptoms develop, and adhere to strict mask use for an additional 5 days.
  • Anyone on the team who is not a close contact can continue to practice as normal.

Masks are optional for outdoor and indoor activities.

  • Players, coaches, referees, volunteers, other officials, and spectators are not required to wear masks. Follow CDC mask recommendations.
  • Personal choice and responsibility around masking is emphasized and respected. Parents may set more restrictive face covering guidelines for their child, if they so choose. The NGS community will support and respect all individuals who choose to continue wearing masks or not.
  • When wearing a mask during soccer activities, players may only wear masks that loop over the ears. A mask or face covering that wraps around the head or head and neck (i.e. gaiter) will be considered dangerous equipment.

All Players, Coaches, Referees, other Officials, and Spectators – even those who are vaccinated – are expected to limit contact and practice social distancing (six feet apart or more) when entering / exiting the venue, on the pitch, on the sidelines, in the spectator viewing area and in other common areas.

  • Handshakes, high 5’s, fist or elbow bumps and other physical contact are not allowed between player and coach or player and player.
  • Players should be spaced apart while on the sidelines, during breaks, and during huddles.
  • Players may not share personal equipment. Each player must have their own ball, shin guards, goalie gloves, uniform, and pinnie. (NGS will supply the pinnies.)
  • We strongly encourage that goal keepers wear gloves as part of best health practices on the field. Sharing of gloves is not allowed.
  • Players must bring their own water bottle and may not share food or beverages. There will be no shared snacks at practices, game half-times, or after games.
  • Spectators are not permitted to watch the game from the player’s side of the field.
  • Do not arrive more than 5 minutes before your scheduled activity. If you arrive early, wait in the car. Incoming players should not enter the field or gym until players from the earlier practice or game have left the area. 
  • We ask that parents and siblings please refrain from entering the school or gymnasium during indoor training sessions. Parents of our youngest children are permitted to walk their players inside the building.
  • Leave immediately after your activity has ended. Do not congregate in common areas.

Participants, coaches, referees, volunteers, guardians, and spectators will follow basic safety standards.

  • Wash hands before arriving at the field or gymnasium.  Once at the venue, soap and water will not be available, so participants should have access to their own hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • All participants are responsible for picking up and bringing home their own waste and belongings.  NGS will not maintain a lost and found.
  • All participants must clean and disinfect their own equipment and launder clothing worn during practices or games.
  • Coaches will clean and disinfect any equipment used during practices or games.
  • Coaches must take attendance at all practices and games in case someone contracts the coronavirus and a trace is needed. If a participant contracts the virus they must inform the NGS COVID-19 Safety Officer. The NGS COVID-19 safety officer will report the case to the local department of health. All team activities shall be halted only until the local department of health can be contacted for further direction.
  • NGS has a designated COVID-19 Safety Officer: Marysol Masse-Makimura.

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