Rusk County school districts have been anticipating the start of summer workout sessions for athletics at the start of June. While most news about COVID led school districts to ambiguity about preparations for the start of the athletic season and if it would proceed on schedule, the University Interscholastic League (UIL) recently released new protocols for Texas school districts.

The updated guidelines state that heeding the GA-29 Executive order, everyone involved with the programs that are aged 10 and up must wear a face mask unless actively exercising, or otherwise permitted according to the executive exemption criteria. As well as inclusive direction to maintain social distancing while unmasked and avoid sharing personal items. There are more extensive details on the official UIL website under the COVID Strength & Conditioning and Sport Specific Instruction. These sessions are to be declared voluntary, in response to parents’ apprehensions of the health and safety of their children.

The school districts will continue the sessions starting Monday, July, 13. The recent update also mentions that the previous dates July 20 and 21 that were mandatory shut down days are now released to be active days.

Sources report that Henderson had started their sessions in early June, but then postponed summer workout and conditioning programs from July 3 until now because of the order by the UIL officials, waiting for the new guidelines to be released.

Henderson Independent School District (ISD) announced a statement via Facebook that they will resume the programs on Monday as well as hold practice on those previous off-days for all UIL athletics.

Tatum ISD postponed their summer sessions due to a student testing positive for COVID-19 on July 3. School officials sent out a letter of acknowledgment of this issue to all parents and staff, and have since determined that the closest return date for the summer sessions would be July 14, after the allotted incubation period for the others who participated in activities with said student. However, they firmly asserted that this was not definitive and determined that the safest option would be to keep the sessions postponed until further notice.

Leverett’s Chapel stated that they will start their sessions on July 13, per the UIL guidelines, and will have check-ups for children daily before they are allowed to participate in activities.

Overton recently released an update on June 1 about the start of their workout sessions that started in June and their safety protocols for them. However, since the updated guidelines there has been no further news from Overton ISD.

Mount Enterprise ISD remained unsure of their future developments regarding sports in general for the upcoming school year.

Carlisle ISD had earlier pronounced that they would continue their summer sessions back in June but haven’t since notified the public of their intentions for new procedures regarding the update.

West Rusk has not published any information regarding their summer sessions.

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