Tarheel Forensic League State Championship

2022 — Pinecrest HS, Southern Pines, NC/US

COVID Protocols and Risks

With health and safety as Tarheel Forensic League’s first priority, the ability to offer in-person speech and debate experiences hinges on the willingness of the speech & debate community to come together in support of everyone’s collective health and safety. Each person has a responsibility to know and act on these standards in a way that maximizes a safe and healthy environment for teaching, working, learning and living. 

By signing the Tarheel Forensic League Community Health Compact, families commit to following the health and safety protocols and guidelines developed by the Tarheel Forensic League to limit the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and wellness of the entire community. The League’s evolving policies and protocols will align with the latest and most reliable scientific information; local, state and federal guidance; and the lived experience through in-person instruction on individual campuses. If evolving guidelines require any changes to this document, updates will be shared with families directly.  

By signing this document, families agree to adhere to the following health and safety expectations:

  • All individuals will wear masks indoors (except when in their own speech time, eating or drinking in a socially distanced way), and outdoors when needed or instructed to.
  • Students will not come to the competition site if they have a household member who has tested positive for COVID-19 or if they have been in close contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 within 14 days, who is awaiting a test result for COVID-19, or who is under self-quarantine. NCDHHS recommends that schools not require an individual who is fully vaccinated (at least 2 weeks after getting their second dose in a 2-dose series or one-dose of a single-dose series) to quarantine if they have had no symptoms after being a close contact to someone with COVID-19, and they do not live in a congregate setting (such as a shelter). For COVID-19, a close contact is defined as any individual who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to the testing that led to a positive result) until the time the patient is isolated; regardless of whether or not the contact was wearing a mask.
  • In addition, students will not come to campus if they are ill or exhibiting any of the symptoms below:
    • Fever of 100.4 or higher
    • New or worsening cough
    • Shortness of breath
    • Chills
    • Recent loss of taste/smell
    • Body aches
    • Sore throat not related to another medical condition
    • New onset of vomiting or diarrhea
    • New onset of severe headache, especially accompanied by fever
  • Before transporting a student to the competition site or allowing the student to travel alone or with others, coaches will assess their child(ren) for any sign of illness. If any of the symptoms listed above is present, parents, guardians or caregivers will not transport or allow their child to be transported to the competition site.
  • Students will be sent home from the competition if they are exhibiting any of the above symptoms and families will arrange for them to be picked up from an isolation area as soon as possible — within two hours. 
  • All students who exhibit any of the symptoms listed above or who are sent home from the competition site because of exhibiting any of those symptoms are not permitted to return to the competition site.
  • If students are sent home due to any of the symptoms listed above, proof of a non-COVID/alternate diagnosis or negative PCR test result will be required for the competition site within 14 days from the initial removal.
  • Any students who test positive for COVID-19 must not come to campus unless and until: (1) they have been fever-free without the use of fever-reducing medications (acetaminophen, ibuprofen, etc.) and free from vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and upset stomach for 24 hours before returning to school; AND (2) they have complied fully with all of the other protocols detailed in their school district’s COVID-19 return policies.

All participants also agree to follow social and hygiene practices recommended by federal, state and local public health organizations in order to minimize the risk of exposure to and transmission of COVID-19. Recognizing our mutual vulnerability, the community must act together to follow appropriate protocols and health practices both during the school day and beyond. 

By signing this agreement, participants acknowledge

  • The highly contagious nature of COVID-19 and that they voluntarily assume the risk that their child(ren) and family may be exposed to or infected by COVID-19, and that such exposure or infection may result in personal injury, illness, permanent disability and death. 
  • They have read and understand the safety protocols and expectations as outlined in the Tarheel Forensic League’s COVID-19 protocols
  • They understand that while precautions serve to mitigate risk, they do not guarantee protection against the transmission of COVID-19.
  • They understand that the risk of becoming exposed to or infected by COVID-19 during the State Tournament may result from their own or others’ acts or omissions. 
  • Given that knowledge and guidance regarding COVID-19 continues to evolve, they agree to abide by any adjusted health/safety policies or protocols that the State Committee puts in place to maintain a healthy environment.
  • They agree to abide by any new health/safety requirement that the State Committee may put in place as COVID-19 research evolves.