Tallahassee, Fla. - Following the Leon County Commissioners meeting earlier this week, the FSU Invitational meet staff has updated their COVID-19 safety protocols for the Oct. 3 event.
The FSU (Pre-State) Invitational will be the first event conducted at a Leon County facility since the onset of the pandemic.
Among the non-negotiable participation requirements for the FSU Invitational, is the requirement for all coaches, athletes, and essential personnel to provide a signed attestation form confirming that all individuals have tested negative for COVID-19 72 hours prior to the event start.
"We are huge partners with Florida State, it's their home course, the testing protocol is the protocol they will be following for the college portion. In order to host this event in this manner, we are going to mimic what the university level is doing," Sports Director for Visit Tallahassee Amanda Heidecker said.
Visit Tallahassee and the FSU Invitational meet staff are currently working on a way to provide on-site rapid testing on Friday, October 2 during packet pick-up hours. More information on this potential option will be released in the coming weeks.
The event will hold no spectators this year, with only seven essential personnel per team, per gender, allowed at the event. All essential personnel, which includes coaches, trainers, school officials, and/or chaperones/drivers must be submitted on the roster prior to packet pickup, and will receive a wrist band that will grant them access to the event.
"We understand parents serve an important role, especially in cross country, we know that coaches rely on parents for transportation and serve as volunteer coaches during the event," Heidecker said. "We are going to require that only seven individuals per team, per gender be submitted with rosters and we will provide everyone on that list with a wristband at drive-through packet pickup."
Temperature checks prior to entering the facility, along with face masks for all personnel and participants will be required at all times, with the exception of competition. Only athletes competing and those with wristbands will be granted access to the facility for the duration of the event.
These significant safety protocols are required at the direction of the Leon County Commissioners and at this time, do not include the FHSAA Cross Country State Championship.
"Our community in Leon County, we haven't hosted and organized a local sporting event at this point. We are trying to do everything we can as safe as possible to get through this," Heidecker noted. "We hope teams will be able to join us this year and join us next year when construction at the Apalachee Regional Park is complete."