Posts Tagged ‘Covid-19’

Coupeville High School volleyball coach Cory Whitmore contemplates an ever-changing universe. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Things remain in flux.

As the 2021-2022 school athletic year kicks into high gear, things are a lot better than they were a year ago.

Which doesn’t mean the pandemic has let loose of us yet.

Case in point, Coupeville’s trip to La Conner next Thursday, Sept. 23 to face the two-time defending 2B state volleyball champs has been erased from the schedule.

It’s due to “a COVID issue with La Conner,” and the schools plan to reschedule the game later in the season.

For games and matches still being played, there are several new tweaks to spectator rules by Coupeville’s Northwest 2B/1B League rivals.

As of Friday, Sept. 17:


**Spectators are required to wear masks at ALL sports contests at La Conner High School, regardless or whether it’s an indoor or outdoor event.


**Spectators are NOT currently allowed to attend volleyball matches at Orcas Island High School, but can attend outdoor events, such as football, soccer, and cross country.

This applies only to home events for the Vikings, and not their road games.

Volleyball matches played at Orcas can be viewed on the Orcas Island Booster Club page on Facebook.


**The other five NWL schools — Coupeville, Mount Vernon Christian, Concrete, Darrington, and Friday Harbor — are currently operating under rules set down by the Washington State Department of Health.

Those rules require masks for all spectators at volleyball matches.

Spectators do NOT need to wear masks at outdoor events where there are less than 500 people in attendance.

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Increased vaccination rates makes it more likely high school athletes will have un-interrupted seasons. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Are you a student at one of Whidbey Island’s three high schools?

Gotten vaccinated for Covid-19 and willing to share with others why you believe it’s important for other students to do the same?

If so, Keven Graves would like to put you on TikTok and related social media as Island County pushes to increase its vaccination rates.

The offer is open to students in Coupeville, Oak Harbor, and on South Whidbey.

For more info, contact Graves at K.graves@islandcountywa.gov.

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With Covid-19 cases on the rise across the country, Whidbey Island’s primary hospital is returning to limiting visitors.

The changes at WhidbeyHealth in Coupeville go into effect Monday, August 23.

In a press release, officials said both the West Wind Cafe and the hospital gift shop will re-close to the public.

WhidbeyHealth facilities are closed to visitors, though patients may have one adult support person accompany them when the patient:

*Is a minor child.

*Has a cognitive handicap or an emergency situation impairing their cognition, such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, Autism, or stroke-like symptoms.

*Has a physical handicap for which their support person provides assistance.

*Has a developmental delay.

*Has a communication barrier such as deafness, or needing a language translator.

*Is receiving end-of-life care.

Mothers in labor may have one support person and one certified doula.

Support persons must be free of respiratory illness symptoms and must not have been exposed to COVID-19. Anyone who develops symptoms will be asked to leave the facility.

When patients are admitted to the hospital under these circumstances, the support person may stay overnight.

Support persons are to remain in the patient’s room, and avoid trips in and out of the hospital.

For questions, email myhospital@whidbeyhealth.org.

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Embrace your mask, Wolf fans. It’s staying, at least for indoor events. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

As the Delta variant of COVID-19 dominates the news, fans will still have to wear masks at some games, but most high school athletes won’t.

That’s the quick take-away from new regulations released Wednesday night by the Washington State Department of Health.

Under the guidelines, masks won’t be required for athletes, regardless of vaccination status, in any outdoor sports or “moderate-contact” indoor sports such as volleyball.

The only sport Coupeville High School plays which is considered a “high-contact” indoor sport is basketball.

Unless things change by the time winter rolls around, hardwood players can still escape the use of masks if they are vaccinated, or agree to regular testing.

Cheer, which is considered “a high aerosol-generating activity” has similar requirements to basketball — athletes can go mask-less if fully-vaccinated, or they participate in testing.

Screening testing for unvaccinated athletes who want to compete without a mask must be performed twice weekly, using a molecular or antigen test.

Masks will be required for everyone in weight rooms, however, regardless of vaccination status, and physical distancing must be practiced.

The DOH terms weight rooms “high-risk indoor settings,” saying “they are often poorly ventilated, crowded and used by athletes from sports of multiple contact levels, as well as PE students.”

While most athletes won’t be required to wear masks during competition, they will continue to do so on bus trips.

Schools are required to follow the CDC order for “all riders and drivers to wear a mask on buses or other public transportation, regardless of vaccination status.”

Masks are recommended for indoor practices, and during competition, will be required for “all coaches, athletic trainers, and other support personnel in K-12 settings, regardless of vaccination status.”

Referees will get some leeway this school year.

If they are fully-vaccinated, refs do not need to wear masks when “actively officiating” indoors, but must pop them back on in down times, such as talking with coaches, or between quarters.

Unvaccinated referees must wear face coverings at all times when officiating, unless they participate in screening testing.

Last, but not least, all spectators attending indoor K-12 sporting activities, regardless of vaccination status, have to mask up.

Audience members should be seated in “family units,” according to DOH regs, and those small groups should be spaced at least three feet apart.

That seems to imply fans will only be required to wear masks for volleyball and basketball, and not for soccer, cross country, football, tennis, softball, baseball, and track.

Though, as with all things pandemic, things can and likely will change at a moment’s notice.

Stay tuned.


To peruse the complete “K-12 COVID-19 Requirements for the 2021-2022 School Year,” pop over to:

Click to access 820-105-K12Schools2021-2022.pdf

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Spikers (l to r) Kylie Chernikoff, Maddie Vondrak, and Maddie Georges celebrate a big point. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It was the most peculiar of school athletic years.

Schedules shifted every few seconds, athletes (and fans) wore masks, and some ultra-stupid temporary rule changes made you question reality.

Why were basketball teams forced to forego the opening tip — the visiting team started with the ball out of bounds this season — when seconds later, players slammed into each other in pursuit of rebounds.

But then again, why ask why during the Age of Coronavirus?

As long as teams were playing, in compressed seasons, we were ahead of where we were back in spring 2020.

With action back on courts and fields, photographers had a chance to click their cameras again as well.

What is above and below are 20 of the best pics from Coupeville’s return to live sports action.

Not every sport is represented, and the pics are not in any sort of ranked order.

But they are the ones which caught my eye (again), as I went back through things.

So there you go.


Jill Prince makes a sensational barehanded catch on a twisting pop-up. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Isaiah Bittner will eat your soul.

Carolyn Lhamon comes in hot.

Three generations of Wolf softball.

Daniel Olson tip-toes along the baseline.

Mollie Bailey and Brad Sherman start a secret handshake known only to prairie royalty. (Eileen Stone photo)

Mia Farris dances the dance of her people. (Jackie Saia photo)

Daylon Houston tackles Ben Smith after the latter scored a game-winning touchdown. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Emily Fiedler, ever-nimble.

Scene of the crime.

Hawthorne Wolfe bolts for home. (Morgan White photo)

Cole White twirls through the paint. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Mary Milnes keeps her rival at bay.

Maddie Vondrak drops the hammer of the gods.

Alex Murdy is mobbed after hitting game-winning free throws. (Jackie Saia photo)

Mollie Bailey crushes a pitch. (Jackie Saia photo)

“We’re outta here!” (Eileen Stone photo)

Ben Smith rumbles in the open field. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

“Willie needs a vacation!”

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