"Return to Play" Protocol Following Confirmed COVID-19 Illness


I hope this email finds you and yours well. I am reaching out this afternoon to share information with you specific to a new logistic that school districts must factor into our response to COVID-19 in our setting. Effective this month, there is a "Return to Play" protocol which must be followed in the event a student has been out due to a confirmed instance of COVID-19 illness.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that "individuals who test positive for COVID-19 should not exercise until they are cleared by a physician. It is suggested they visit primary care physician (PCP), who will review local 14-point preparticipation screening evaluation with special emphasis on cardiac symptoms including chest pain, shortness of breath out of proportion for upper respiratory tract infection, new-onset palpitations, or syncope and perform a complete physical examination.  If the preparticipation screening evaluation and examination are normal, the patient may begin a gradual return to play after 10 days have passed from date of the positive test result and a minimum of 24 hours symptom free off-fever reducing medications. If the PCP identifies any new or concerning history or physical examination findings at this visit, an ECG should be performed and referral should be made to a pediatric cardiologist for evaluation and further testing."

Following a COVID-19 infection, your child's health care provider will determine when it is safe for phasing in physical activity at home. This determination will be made based on medical history, symptoms, severity of illness and previous level of activity.

Steps Required for Resuming Physical Activity FOR ALL PreK-12 Students Upon Return to School Following a Confirmed COVID-19 Illness

  • Have Primary Care Physician conduct evaluation after ten days or greater have passed since positive COVID-19 test and child has been asymptomatic for one or more days.  
  • With PCP approval, engage in gradual return to play activity at home. 
  • Complete "Return to Play" Stages #1 - #4 (see attached) at home with your child. Thank you to the East Irondequoit Central School District for the suggested activities included.
  • Obtain signed note or the "HCS Return to Play" document from primary care health provider "clearing" your child for return to physical education, recess, and sports. 
  • Submit signed PCP note of clearance or "Return to Play" document to school nurse.
  • HCS school nurse will notify teachers and coaches that student has been cleared to "Return to Play" for full physical activity. 
Please Note: 
  • The HCS "Return to Play" Protocol is attached to this communication.
  • The PCP "Return to Play" clearance document is attached to this communication. 
  • Please feel free to reach out with any questions surrounding the "Return to Play" protocol to the following individuals:
We recognize that the "Return to Play" protocol contributes yet another layer in our navigation of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we strive to best ensure the safety and well being of all HCS students. Thank you for your continued support of the district and our work in advocacy for HCS students. Be safe and be well.

E. Bridget Ashton

Elizabeth Bridget Ashton
Superintendent, Honeoye Central School District
8528 Main Street
Honeoye, New York 14471
[email protected]
On Twitter: @EBridgetAshton