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High school athletes gradually begin summer workouts

Union County High School athletes will hit the weight room again at the end of May, with CDC guidelines in place.

UNION COUNTY, Tenn. — High school athletes are slowly starting to train for fall sports again.

School districts across the state are still trying to figure out what high school football games will look like next year, but some schools are giving the green light to practice.

For example, Knox County Schools told parents Tuesday all sports can begin summer activities starting Tuesday, May 26 so long as teams follow social distancing guidelines from local health departments and the CDC.

In Union County, they are also planning on hitting the weight room again at the end of May.

"We're trying to reopen sections a little at at time as we research how that should look," said Dr. Jimmy Carter, Director of Union County Schools.

He said no athletes will be on the field or the court just yet, but the weight room opens after Memorial Day.

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"We're allowing each sport to schedule times in the weight room where there's no more than 10 in the room at one time. wiping down all the equipment before another group comes in to the facility, doing temperature checks," said Carter.

A plan released by the district said all participants have to go through a COVID-19 symptom evaluation each day.

Any player or coach with a fever of 100 degrees or higher will be sent home immediately and can't return until they've been fever-free for three days.

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"Maybe we would be better prepared for August by doing some of these things in the summer months," said Carter.

Calls to surrounding school districts show others are close to letting athletes back, but plans are still in the works.

Carter said school districts have conference calls with the state education commission three times a week, and the state superintendents have monthly calls.

They're all struggling to look at how school will function in the fall.

"It's like having snow days every day," said Carter. "You want to try to keep everybody safe but you still need to educate your students and you want them to be prepared to go on to the next level and it's hard sometimes to balance those two things.

RELATED: Union County High School reschedules prom so seniors can still experience the special milestone

Union County is working to make sure the class of 2020 is celebrated. They have set dates for graduation and prom in the summer.

The first day of school is August 4, 2021.

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