EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Starting Friday, youth athletes can participate in sports-related functions.

The green light was given by the Office of Emergency Management and the Public Health Department to conduct outdoor sports and youth activities, according to the Parks and Recreation Department.

Adult sport-related activities and tournaments, however, will still remain at a standstill until a better assessment of data can be made regarding the downward trend of infection rates due to the pandemic.

The Parks and Rec Department must follow every single current COVID-19 guideline that has been established in addition to the safety rules that the Public Health Department and the Office of Emergency Management has put into place.

“Participants, parents and coaches are reminded to follow health and safety recommendations to keep our athletes and community safe and, most importantly, reduce the spread of COVID-19 that is still very active in our community,” said Cultural Affairs and Recreation Director Ben Fyffe.

Here are the essential safety rules that need to be followed:

  • Players who are feeling sick, have tested positive for COVID-19 or live with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 10 days must NOT come to practice or games.
  • Players and coaches must wear face masks (that covers nose and mouth) upon entering the facility or complex and when not actively exercising.
  • Wash your hands with a disinfectant soap and water (for 20 seconds or longer) or use a hand sanitizer (with at least 60 percent alcohol) if soap and water are not readily available.
  • Follow directions for spacing and stay at least six feet apart from others
  • Do not share equipment (water bottles, towels, clothing etc.) with other players.
  • If you need to sneeze or cough, do so into a tissue or upper sleeve/arm area.
  • Do not spit on the ground and properly dispose used tissue.
  • Do not make unnecessary physical contact with others, such as shaking hands or giving a high five.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Avoid sharing food, drinks or towels.
  • Maintain appropriate social distancing from other athletes when taking a break or on the sideline.
  • Locker rooms will only be used for bathroom use.
  • Avoid spitting on the ground and dispose used tissue properly.
  • No handshaking or high fiving, teams may line up and walk six feet apart from opposing team and give positive verbal sportsmanship.
  • Return directly to your personal items when workout ends, put face mask on and prepare to leave immediately.
  • Clean, disinfect and pick up all trash in team area prior to leaving.
  • Leave the facility as soon as reasonably possible after workout.
  • No eating after game in team area.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly or use a hand sanitizer after leaving.
  • Do not use the locker room or changing area.
  • No congregation in complex or facility after game.
  • Athletes not following the guidelines above will result in the following:

– 1st offense – athlete will be made aware and asked to follow guideline.

– 2nd offense – athlete will be removed game.

– 3rd offense – athlete will be suspended.

More information can be found at the City of El Paso website: www.elpasotexas.gov/parks-and-recreation or www.epstrong.org.