While this might seem a bit formal, the events of the last few days indicate we need to give you official information as we know it, so that you can keep it in your records.
On Friday, September 3, a memo went out from Dan Scavone, Executive Director of the CIAC Officials Association, asking for a Zoom meeting with assignors of the various sports and boards. The reason is Executive Order 13D, section 1.f. Without getting into weeds, and believe me Ralph and I have been in the weeds over the last few days, the crux of it is, as of September 27, the State with the approval of the Governor and Dept. of Public Health will mandate that officials have documentation as to their vaccination status: those who have the vaccine, those who have a religious or medical exemption and those who have not taken it.
Schools can mandate that officials working their games must have vaccinations, and the proof of that vaccination. Already we have had two prep schools, Hopkins and Hamden Hall make that request. That was forwarded to you via Arbiter email last month.
Under the executive order, officials are considered “covered workers,” who must comply with showing vaccine status. While the current orders do not mandate officials have the vaccine, we are probably headed that way.
The meeting Tuesday was to determine the best way to furnish to school districts the information needed under the order. Originally, we believe the CIAC wanted the boards to keep the information after collecting it from members; however, after consulting with Chris Duby, a member of the bar, that would make us liable under HIPAA laws. We pointed that out during the meeting, and that assessment was borne out by Matt Fischer, who is the CIAC’s IT guru, and has been working with them on this issue.
CIAC explored the possibility of using Arbiter to have officials input the information. Arbiter balked at that for the same reason: HIPAA liability.
Should we or Arbiter or anyone else take the information, storage of your health record puts us in the crosshairs of federal law. Should we get hacked, or a house burn down or some other event that puts your information at risk, we could be in violation and liable.
The purpose of this memo is to do two things: alert you to the events, and alert you to the fact you may be asked for proof of vaccination prior to a game.
Under the order, those who are not vaccinated would be treated the same as teachers. They would have to be tested weekly, with the test results to be presented at the game if requested.
As of Tuesday, a new executive order is expected by week’s end as the current one lapses September 30, three days after the mandate would go into effect. The new order is expected to be broader, according to CIAC officials.
What do you need to know:
- If you have been vaccinated, your vaccination card or proof of vaccination might be requested;
If you haven’t been vaccinated, you might be required to take a weekly COVID test and show the results prior to the contest—at your expense;
Lack of either could affect your eligibility to work for some or all school systems in 2021;
The CIAC is alerting schools as to these options as they are outlined by its attorneys, which are also the attorneys for the State Board of Education.
The CIAC will use only compliant officials (read: vaccinated or tested) in the state tournaments.
Next week, Ralph and I will be on another meeting and will have more details as to how things are going to be implemented and how officials are to furnish their vaccination status.
When we find out more information, we will get back to you asap.