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Loudoun County Public Schools will require student-athletes to be vaccinated, district says

Athletes participating in the five fall sports within VHSL (football, cheer, cross country, volleyball and golf) are not subject to the vaccination requirement.

LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. — Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) student-athletes will have to be vaccinated to compete as part of teams at schools in the district, according to a news release.

This requirement was first announced on Tuesday, August 31, by LCPS Superintendent Dr. Scott A. Ziegler.

The news release by LCPS outlines what student-athletes and their families must do if participating in Virginia High School League (VHSL) winter and spring sports and for all out-of-season practices for the remainder of the 2021-22 school year.

Athletes participating in the five fall sports within VHSL (football, cheer, cross country, volleyball and golf) are not subject to the vaccination requirement, said the school district.

“LCPS is committed to providing the safest learning environment possible for our students. This vaccination requirement for our student-athletes demonstrates our commitment to the safety of everyone within our schools and communities," said Ziegler. "While LCPS acknowledges this is a difficult decision for some families, it is a necessary step that we must take to limit disruptions to the learning environment, keep students safe and remain in in-person learning and athletics.”

As part of its requirement for student-athletes, LCPS said it will work with the Loudoun County Health Department (LCHD) to ensure all students who wish to be vaccinated have access to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Any student-athlete who cannot be vaccinated due to a medical condition or a bona fide religious belief will be required to submit a negative COVID-19 test result once per week and before returning to play after exposure to COVID-19, said LCPS

LCPS will not permit student-athletes with medical or religious exemptions who do not comply with the testing required to participate in school sports or related activities, added the school district in its statement.

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