KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Clay County health officials on Friday made recommendations to school districts on the upcoming winter sports season, giving schools options on how to proceed with the activities amid a regional spike in COVID-19 cases.
In a letter to district superintendents, Clay County Public Health Center Director Gary Zaborac said the health department would recommend three options for districts to consider when making a decision on whether to go ahead with winter sports.
The first option, Zaborac said, would be to consider moving the winter sports seasons to the spring. Under the second option, all student-athletes would learn remotely during the season while still practicing and playing games following safety protocols.
In the third option, schools would proceed with winter sports as scheduled with COVID-19 precautions in place to be set by each school district.
“It is important to take adequate risk reduction precautions that may include cohorting as much as possible, random testing to quickly identify infections, monitoring symptoms, and not allowing spectators or significantly limiting spectator attendance while requiring masks and physical distancing measures to be in place,” Zaborac said in the letter.
In the Kansas City metro, Jackson County has advised area districts not to proceed with winter sports, saying that the indoor activities make it more difficult to take appropriate risk mitigation measures.
Across the state line, the Johnson County, Kansas, Department of Health and Environment has made similar recommendations, though some schools already decided to go against the health department’s recommendations.