Northampton to allow Fall 2-season sports, lifting COVID-19 restrictions

Hampshire County

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Northampton athletes who weren’t able to take the field this fall due to COVID-19 will be able to play this spring after all. The city’s health department has lifted the city’s sports restrictions, putting them back under the guidance of Governor Baker’s re-opening plan.

Student-athletes gathered last week in protest of the ban on sports.

City Health Director Meredith O’Leary announced Sunday that the Board of Health has lifted the health order prohibiting athletic competition.

Northampton has done such a great job preventing the spread of COVID-19 that the board feels comfortable easing restrictions on sports.

City Health Director Meredith O’Leary

Northampton High School’s Athletic Director Lauren McFarland told 22News now that the season is here, it’s up to the students to follow the necessary protocols on and off the field.

“Wearing their masks even when they don’t want to, socially distancing even when they want to, see their friends and taking those actions outside of practice and in their personal lives over weekends,” said McFarland.

For teams to compete, they must use the health department’s self-certification health screening for all participants. Additionally, any positive COVID-19 tests must be reported to the health department within 12 hours.

The move clears the way for Northampton schools to participate in the Fall 2 season, which begins Monday. The Fall 2 season was created to allow athletes whose sports were canceled this fall, such as football and cheerleading, to compete this spring.

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