Diagnostic COVID-19 testing and notice to ECDOH staff included in updated NY Forward guidance

ERIE COUNTY, NY – The Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) and its Division of Environmental Health are providing the following information for non-professional, non-collegiate sports teams and venues related to NY Forward requirements for diagnostic COVID-19 testing.

For all sports events, including those listed under low-, medium- and high-risk sports in the NY Forward sports and recreation guidance that exceed 10% of the facility capacity, diagnostic COVID-19 testing will be required for all players/competitors, coaches, referees/judges, and spectators. A negative PCR (molecular) test within 72 hours of the sport event will be required.

Players/competitors, coaches/referees, facility staff and spectators must present a negative COVID-19 test result to enter the sport event. Any team/group with a positive player/competitor or coach cannot play during the sport event. All teams/groups are required to take the appropriate actions regarding a COVID-19 positive player/competitor, including contacting local health departments to discuss quarantine and isolation requirements.

For a team with a COVID-19 positive player/competitor, all close contacts should also be quarantined and therefore unable to participate in the sport event. Due to the close proximity of the teams/groups and multiple players/competitors traveling together, the number of close contacts associated with every COVID-19 positive player/competitor would preclude those teams/groups from participating.

COVID-19 positive spectators cannot attend the sport event. In addition, anyone traveling or living with that COVID-19 positive spectator is considered a close contact and may not be able to participate in the sport event.

Also, sports venues must use the ECDOH Large Gathering Event Notification Form ( to provide event information to ECDOH for review at least five days prior to the planned event.

These requirements take effect March 5, 2021.

ECDOH looks forward to working with sports teams and venue staff to ensure the safety and health of athletes, coaching staff, facility employees and fans

Categories: Health, Press release