Tuscaloosa-area football coach discusses COVID-19 precautions happening in practice

COVID-19 impact of football practice

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Tuscaloosa’s Central High School Falcons start this new season with a new head football coach. Rodney Bivens Junior says his players are asked a series of questions about their health and who they’ve been around before they’re allowed to take the field.

“There’s 14 questions provided by the CDC . We ask these questions each and every day cause you never know where student athletes are going once they leave from here,” Bivens told WBRC.

Players are expected to use bottles to get something to drink from water stations. Wednesday several players could be seen getting water without them. “What the guys are supposed to do is have their water bottles. I know when the guys did come out they did have their water bottles with them. That’s something we definitely do reiterate.”

By day 3 of practice, players began getting more comfortable with the questions and temperature checks that are now part of the routine. Bivens said football practice and eventually playing in games will require more patience on the parts of many people because recommendations could change quickly.

“With it being a pandemic, there’s more things happening. There’s more people making decisions all the way from the CDC, to the Alabama Department of Health to the State Department of Education to the school system. With that being said, you have to be a little patient with the decisions that are being made.”

The Alabama High School Athletic Association modified several rules to encourage social distancing and decrease players exposure to respiratory droplets. They include allowing players to wear cloth face coverings and extending the players box on both sides of the field to the 10 yard lines.

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