Collier County, Fla. — Student athletes in Southwest Florida returned to the field this week for summer conditioning.
It’s the first time they’ve been on campus since schools closed for COVID-19 precautions.
Students are exercising outside, and things look a lot different.
Collier County students are adjusting to more than white lines on their football fields. There’s blue X’s and orange cones throughout the field to help them social distance.
Mark Jackson, head football coach at Barron Collier High School says they’re following CDC guidelines to protect players.
“We have to take care of these guys when they’re around us, and we have to encourage them to take care of themselves when they’re away from us,” he said “They where their masks when they show up and when they leave.”
James Delgado, head coach at Riverdale High School in Fort Myers says they’re taking it a step further with temperature checks.
“They literally line up in their vehicles, without ever getting out of their vehicles, their temperature is taken, certain questions are asked,” he said.
They’re asked questions like “have you had a cough, shortness of breath, or made contact with anyone who’s tested positive for covid-19?”
Mike Riley, spokesperson for Charlotte County Schools says there’s a specific plan to keep students and staff safe, down to how the school is cleaned.
“Each school has assigned a designated custodian to assist the coaching staff to make sure the facilities are cleaned everyday,” he said.
Jackson at Barron Collier says he’s already thinking ahead for phase two when athletes allowed into weight rooms.
“I’ve asked them all to use fishing buffs. So, they can pull them up, and then they can pull them down around their neck. It’s easy, so they just slide them up from their neck whenever they need them,” he said.
He says that also limits how often they’re touching their face to adjust the covering.
“I just want it to be a great experience for them. A healthy experience. And one they can build lifetime memories, and lifetime friendships with,” he said.
Fall camp kicks off at the end of July and the first game of the season is scheduled for the end of August.