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Return to Play Protocol

COVID-19 Site Specific Protection Plan Guidance



Purpose of this Document

The purpose of this document is to provide the Permit Holder with guidance in creating a Covid-19 Site Specific Protection Plan that provides a safe, clean environment for employees, volunteers, participants and the public. As the COVID-19 public health crisis continues to evolve and new Public Health Orders are issued both at State and local levels, amendments to your Protection Plan may be needed in order to incorporate new requirements. It is the Permit Holders responsibility to understand, implement and follow all new Public Health Orders.  These guidelines were approved by Sonoma County, the City of Santa Rosa, and follows state and federal CDC guidelines.

Individual Control Measures and Screenings

• All participants/employees have been provided with temperature and/or symptom screenings each day before participating in any group activity.

• Employees are provided with all required protective equipment (i.e., face coverings) and the employer ensures this equipment is worn properly at all times.

• Face coverings are required when employees are in the vicinity of others. Face coverings are not shared at this worksite.

• Employees take reasonable measures to communicate with the public that they should use face coverings.

• Participants/Employees who are sick or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 are directed to stay home and Centers for Disease Control guidelines will be followed for when they can resume participation.


1. What types of protective equipment will you provide to employees/volunteers and participants?

  • We are asking all participants to bring their own masks. However, understanding that there might be gaps with that, each club has also purchased a supply of disposable masks that can be distributed.
  • Coaches will also act as COVID supervisors and ask people to either (a) put on masks or (b) leave the site.

2. What additional control measures are you implementing onsite?

  • Clubs are purchasing temperature guns/thermometers. All participants will be asked to sign an agreement that they will not come to practice if they have a temperature, but with the thermometers we will also be able to conduct spot-screening on site. If someone shows a temperature, we have a protocol to isolate them, allow them to cool off (in case it’s due to ambient temperature), and re-test them. If the temperature is still high, we will ask parents to pick them up.
  •  Employees/Volunteers will also be screened.

Cleaning and Disinfecting Protocols

• All shared equipment and touchable surfaces are cleaned and sanitized between each use. (Coaches are providing equipment in this first phase; we can also use strict rules about “no touching the ball with your hands.” We have cones and balls as “equipment.”)

• Hand sanitizer will be provided where businesses do not have indoor plumbing. – Clubs will provide hand sanitizer and disinfectants.

• Sanitizing supplies are provided to promote employees’ personal hygiene. This may include tissues, no-touch trash cans, hand soap, adequate time for hand- washing, alcohol-based hand sanitizers, disinfectants, and disposable towels.

• Cleaning products are used that meet the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s- approved for use against COVID-19 list.

• Employees are provided adequate time to implement cleaning practices before and after shifts.


1. What is the schedule for disinfecting commonly used surfaces and equipment?

  •  Coaches will provide equipment (primarily balls and cones) for cohorts, and will sterilize all of them at the end of practice before packing them up and leaving the field.

2. What operational procedures are being implemented to ensure adequate time for cleaning/disinfecting?

  • Our teams are divided into cohorts, and each cohort has its own coach. The schedule will have one team’s cohorts completely off the field before they next one arrives. Coaches will have time after training to collect, sanitize and remove all equipment before the next one arrives.

3. What additional measures will be taken onsite?

  • Players will be instructed to not touch the balls or cones with their hands. If a ball gets away from a player, the coach will kick it back.
  • Gates will be propped open, and sanitized after each practice.

Physical Distancing Guidelines

• Participants should bring their own snacks and drinks from home. No communal snacks.

• Tape or other markings have been placed at least six feet apart in participant line areas on sidewalks or other walkways near public entrances with signs directing customers to use the markings to maintain distance.


1. What is the layout of your site and how will you accomplish physical distancing measures?

  • Our site are city and county-run soccer fields. For training, the fields will be divided into “lanes” or “boxes” with the edge of one box being at least 6 feet from the next.
  • Our clubs are providing Zoom-based training to coaches to instruct them on how to create individual drills and activities within a small square of the field, or how to use a “lane” system for training.
  • The COVID supervisor (coach) will enforce spacing.
  • We will mark the field with either field paint or cones to create a space for each individual player. One edge of the space will be at least 6 feet from the next space, so the players have room to move without encroaching on another player’s space.
  • Players will arrive at training sessions at one of a field, and be picked up at the other. There will be time enough between sessions to keep cohorts separate.
  • Parents will be encouraged to wait in cars while their children are at the training session. If they don’t/won’t, they will be required to stay 20 feet away from the players and stay in family or household groups, spaced a minimum of 6 feet from each other groups.

Activity/Business Best Practices

• Go to to find the list of specific best practices for your type of activity/business.


1. What are the Best Practices?

  • Other than those discussed above, we will also require kids to arrive in clean jerseys, socks, and shorts for each training session. There will be no “pennies” provided, kids will simply wear different colored jerseys/shirts.
  •  Coaches will take a formal “roll call” during each session so there is an accurate record of participants if contact tracing becomes necessary.
  • We have researched US Soccer guidelines and are incorporating those. These include the gradual phasing-in of cohorts to the entire team.
  • We are encouraging kids to use the restroom before coming to the park to practice, and we are keeping practices to a minimal length (one hour or less) to help avoid using public restrooms. If a child does need to use the restroom, he/she will be required to sanitize hands before returning to play.

Notification of COVID-19 Positive Case

• County of Sonoma Public Health is notified of all positive COVID-19 cases.

• We have designated two club individuals to whom teams will report positive cases.

• We are also researching an app to assist with the check-in and symptom monitoring process.


1. Employees/volunteers have been trained on the following topics

2. Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on COVID-19, how to prevent it from spreading, and which underlying health conditions may make individuals more susceptible to contracting the virus.

3. Self-screening at home, including temperature and/or symptom checks using CDC guidelines.

4. The importance of not coming to work if employees have a frequent cough, fever, difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, recent loss of taste or smell, or if they or someone they live with have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

5. The importance of seeking medical attention if an employees’ symptoms become severe, including persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, or bluish lips or face. Updates and further details are available on CDC’s webpage.

6. The vulnerability of older adults and people with chronic medical conditions, and the need to practice particular caution to protect these groups.

7. The importance of frequent handwashing with soap and water, including scrubbing with soap for 20 seconds (or using hand sanitizer with at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol when employees cannot get to a sink or handwashing station, per CDC guidelines).

8. Manufacturer’s directions and Cal/OSHA requirements for safe use of personal hygiene and cleaning products.

9. The importance of physical distancing, both at work and off work time (see Physical Distancing section above).

10. Proper use of face coverings, including:

a. Face coverings do not protect the wearer and are not personal protective equipment (PPE).

b. Face coverings can help protect people near the wearer, but do not replace the need for physical distancing and frequent handwashing.

c. The importance of washing and/or sanitizing hands before and after using or adjusting face coverings.

d. Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth.

e. Face coverings to be washed after each shift.


1. What are your training procedures for employees/volunteers?

  • Clubs are providing Zoom training to all coaches/COVID supervisors on these issues.

2. What other worksite training measures are you taking?

  • We are also compiling information to post on our club and league websites. We have email blast to registrants and social media available to us for additional communication.