Arlington Public Schools will continue its layered prevention strategies to mitigate exposure and transmission of COVID-19 by requiring students to be vaccinated and/or COVID-19 tested daily, with negative results, in order to participate in high school sports. Other school divisions in Virginia, including Fairfax and Loudoun, are requiring similar procedures for student athletes. Combined with APS preventative measures, vaccinating and/or testing student athletes adds another layer of protection against the virus, especially as most students don’t wear masks to compete. Requiring vaccinations reduces the need for contact tracing by both the school staff and the health department. It will also greatly reduce the number of students and teams paused, and minimizes time lost from in-person learning.
Beginning November 8th, APS will require documentation of vaccination status from all students participating in winter and spring sports, and all out-of-season conditioning. A student is considered fully vaccinated if two weeks have passed since their last COVID-19 shot. However, as long as they have had their second shot by November 8, they may participate.
Documentation of the vaccination will require the student providing a copy vaccination card showing the student has had two doses of the Pfizer (brand name Comirnaty) or Moderna vaccine or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Student athletes will submit documentation of their COVID-19 vaccination to their school athletic department. If a student is unable to be vaccinated, in order to participate in athletics, they must submit to daily COVID testing, with negative test results, using the APS resources (no home testing accepted).