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CFVH discusses COVID-19 with sports in mind


December 10, 2020

John Hamilton

THE MAN WITH THE PLAN - Thompson Falls coach Jared Koskela (middle, with the mask on) has guided the Blue Hawks to two straight appearances in the Montana 8-Man playoffs.

Sports during the COVID-19 pandemic have proven challenging at all levels.

What happens in Montana this winter, as all major sports turn to the indoors, could be interesting to watch – or it could all come to a screeching halt, like it did last winter, on championship night for all the Montana prep basketball tournaments.

In an effort to hopefully avoid any prolonged shutdowns and enable Sanders County schools to move forward with and complete the winter sports seasons, as the fall seasons were just completed, Clark Fork Valley Hospital hosted a virtual meeting with county school officials December 2.

Officials representing each school in Sanders County and reporters from the two local newspapers joined the forum.

Hosted by CFVH Dr. Gregory S. Hanson and PA-C Nick Lawyer, the meeting provided information about when to suspect possible infection and the steps to take if infection is detected.

CFVH says that the Montana High School Association requires medical clearance from the provider before athletes are allowed to return to competition, and the hospital agreed to provide parameters for the safe return to sports based on recommendations from the American Heart Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Cardiology.

Hanson described some instances where COVID-19 infection can lead to complications such as myocardititis and pericarditis, and what to look for with those conditions.

It is widely recognized that the older an individual is, generally the more susceptible they are to COVID-19.

MHSA has asked local health departments to analyze school plans for winter sports activities and that process is ongoing.

Winter sports practices began Monday, December 7, and competition is scheduled to begin after the new year, although all county schools have not published proposed schedules yet as of early this week.


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