A parent in Kentucky is calling the COVID-19 protocols for the state’s high school athletic association “unconstitutional” and “inconsistent” and has filed an injunction to pause the organization’s protocols for spring sports.
The Kentucky High School Athletic Association’s “Return to Play” guidelines state that if a middle school or high school student-athlete tests positive for COVID-19, the student must self-isolate for up to three weeks, depending on the severity of the case.
Jon Kelly Johnson, a dentist in Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, filed the injunction on behalf of his son, who plays high school baseball, the Courier Journal reports.
“I thought it was a typo,” he told The Courier Journal on Sunday. “I thought it was crazy, and then I did some more research on their website, and nope, it’s 22 days.”
Johnson and his attorney argue in a Montgomery County court complaint that the athletic association’s timeline is “unconstitutional” and “inconsistent” with isolation periods the organization set forth for fall sports.
They argue the high school’s guidelines are also inconsistent with those issued by the federal Centers for Disease Control and sporting leagues, such as Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association and divisions within the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
The COVID-19 protocols for the NCAA’s SEC, of which the University of Kentucky is a member, state that athletes are no longer required to quarantine after seven days if they test negative for coronavirus on day five, six or seven from the initial infection.
The quarantine can end without a test after 10 days if an athlete reports no symptoms “during daily monitoring,” the article states.
“We don’t want special treatment,” Johnson told the Courier Journal. “We just want the same treatment as the NCAA. That’s all that we want. We know if the kid tests positive, he has to sit out. We get that. But 22 days is just a little excessive.”
Currently, an athlete must self-isolate for at least 14 days for all COVID-19 cases in Kentucky.
The Courier Journal reports Johnson’s son has already missed his 2020 baseball season because of the pandemic, and an isolation period of 22 days puts his college scholarship eligibility at risk if he were to contract the virus.
“At some point, you have to quit complaining and fight back,” Johnson said. “And if you think kids are being wronged, you have to fight for them, and that’s what I’m doing, through my son. But this is for all kids that are playing high schools sports.”