FCPS requires COVID-19 vaccines for winter and spring athletes


Antonio Martin

Senior Lauren Delwiche guards the ball, wearing a mask to follow COVID protocol. Now that vaccines are available and students are returning to in person schooling, FCPS has updated the rules.

Eli Tillemann, Staff Writer

Winter and spring athletes in FCPS will be expected to provide either proof of vaccination or negative COVID tests (only an option for 12-15 year olds) in order to participate.

Due to COVID, FCPS has implemented a new precautionary measure in sports. Unvaccinated students who are 16 and over will not be allowed to participate in winter and spring sports without a religious or medical exemption. Unvaccinated students who are 12-15 years old must agree to take weekly COVID tests to participate. These new rules will go into effect on Nov. 8.

“FCPS will be working with the Fairfax County Health Department to ensure all students who wish to be vaccinated have access to the COVID-19 vaccine before the requirement kicks in,”’ FCPS superintendent Scott Brabrand said in a message to the FCPS community explaining the new change.

Senior Lexie Skeen, a veteran gymnast and soccer player who participated in the Jefferson athletic program last year with strict COVID restrictions in place, is optimistic for this year.“It’ll make me a lot more comfortable competing on shared equipment if I know that everyone who’s competing against me is vaccinated,” Skeen said.

While these rules won’t go into effect until winter and spring sports begin, there’s already a lot of support for their implementation.

“’I think a lot of our players are going along with getting vaccinated. I think they see the value in it,” Raffle said. “We need to do everything we can to protect our student athletes, protect our coaches, and protect the rest of our community.”