LIHU‘E — Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation sports events have been paused for one week, effective Jan. 12 and ending Jan. 18, announced Kaua‘i Complex Area Superintendent Paul Zina on Thursday.
“This means we can’t even practice,” said Kapa‘a basketball coach Kamahalo Kauhane in a phone conversation following the dual Kapa‘a win, Tuesday night at the KIF boys basketball games. “We can’t do anything until at least Jan. 18.”
The move to halt the sporting activities is done to allow student-athletes and their families time to adjust to the updated guidelines for Return to School and Sports. These changes that are an effort to keep students, athletes, coaches, referees, and community participants safe in the current pandemic conditions were arrived at by the Department of Education working with the Department of Health and were also announced yesterday.
• Quarantine for close contact in high-risk activities such as athletics will be 10 days.
• The COVID booster shot is now the recommended mitigation for students in high-risk activities that include sports. If the athletes’ initial COVID vaccination is outside of five months, the COVID booster will enable them to meet the updated “fully vaccinated” criteria, and avoid a 10-day quarantine in the event they become a close contact with no symptoms. Others able to avoid quarantine are COVID-positive athletes who have recovered within the past 90 days, and athletes within the first five months since their initial vaccination.
“Families and athletes may use this time frame (pause period) to get the COVID booster if their initial vaccination is outside of five months,” Zina said in the announcement. “On Jan. 19, the KIF will resume its regular schedule of games and practices. The 10-day quarantine period for close contacts will be in effect.”
According to information on the Kauai.gov/Covid-19 website, on Jan. 5, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expanded eligibility of booster doses to those between 12 to 15 years old.
The CDC now recommends that adolescents aged 12 to 17 years old should receive a booster shot five months following their initial Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination series. The CDC, on Jan. 4, reduced the interval for when many people can receive a booster shot from six months to five months for people who received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. This means that people ages 12 and older can now receive an mRNA booster shot five months following completing their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series.
For more current information on COVID-19 vaccination and testing, individuals are encouraged to visit Kauai.gov/Covid-19 website.
“We know this is a difficult season for everyone,” Zina said. “The HIDOE and KIF are committed to offering a full season of sports to Kaua‘i’s high school athletes. Let us continue to work together and support one another to get this done for our community.”