Loudoun County to require COVID-19 vaccination for student-athletes

Public schools in Loudoun County, Virginia, said they will require student-athletes participating in the Virginia High School League to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 by Nov. 8.

The announcement was made Tuesday by Loudoun County schools Superintendent Dr. Scott A. Ziegler.

Nearby districts have been mulling the decision to mandate vaccines for its student-athletes recently. Fairfax County announced a similar requirement Monday. A spokesperson for Arlington County schools told WTOP that it is “considering a similar requirement.”

Proof of a COVID-19 vaccine will be required for Loudoun County athletes participating in winter and spring sports and for all out-of-season practices for the 2021-22 academic school year.

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

Ziegler said student-athletes are a particularly vulnerable group because they are required to travel to off-campus events and compete against student-athletes from other schools.

“The majority of past COVID-related disruptions to instruction for our high school students have come as a result of exposure during athletic activities,” Ziegler said.

Student-athletes who cannot be vaccinated due to a medical condition or religious belief will be required to submit a negative COVID-19 test result once a week before returning to play after an exposure to COVID-19, the county said.

“LCPS will not permit student-athletes with medical or religious exemptions who do not comply with the testing requirement to participate in school sports or related activities.”

More Coronavirus news

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

WTOP’s Dick Uliano contributed to this report. 

Glynis Kazanjian

Glynis Kazanjian has been a freelance writer covering Maryland politics and government on the local, state and federal levels for the last 11 years. Her work is published in Maryland Matters, the Baltimore Post Examiner, Bethesda Beat and Md. Reporter. She has also worked as a true crime researcher.

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