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Regis sees risk mitigation strategies, recommendations as path to proceed with close-contact sports

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - Ramblers soccer, volleyball and football teams will start practice on Monday following the release of a Eau Claire City-County Health Department COVID-19 risk mitigation strategies document this week.

The document says the health department "strongly discourages" close-contact sports to take place in the county, but put out the strategies for schools to follow if those sports take place.

"We continue to very strongly recommend to everyone, no matter what the circumstance and where it's done, that people think twice about doing high-risk, close-contact sports of any kind," said Lieske Giese, director of the Eau Claire City-County Health Department. "Recommendations won't prevent people from getting sick, but they may lower the risk for those that are involved."

Regis sees the document as a way to allow them to run all fall sports.

"They're doing their job. I appreciate that. That is fantastic,"said Regis High School Principal Paul Pedersen. "What I believe it did is it allowed for us to get the guidance, that is the expertise, that comes from the city health department. They've been very workable, very approachable and they want what schools want."

The five strategies recommended for close-contact games are preventing those who are sick from attending, maintaining six feet of distance between all people, limiting the number of people able to attend, requiring face coverings and minimizing close contact with those outside of Eau Claire County.

Regis is confident in all those areas moving forward.

"For us to do this, we all have to really use the good advice and the good guidance that the health department has provided for us," said Pedersen. "And with that, I feel like we can proceed safely."

School districts within the county read the documents differently. Altoona says it cannot hold competitions for close-contact sports.

The Augusta School District says it will participate in falls sports to the best of their abilities.

Rebecca Fiala

Rebecca Fiala joined the News 18 Sports Team in December 2018 as our weekend sports anchor and sports reporter.

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