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Jackson County Health Department advises against winter sports in schools

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Posted at 4:29 PM, Nov 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-03 17:29:25-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As fall approaches, bringing cooler weather, and some schools return to in-person learning, leaders at the Jackson County Health Department are advising area districts not to allow winter sports and activities.

In an updated school reopening plan, the health department said it "may be significantly more difficult to implement risk mitigation measures, such as masking and distancing, in sports such as basketball and wrestling and activities like choir, band and theater performances. The chance of widespread transmission and/or exposure in schools is higher if these activities are performed, especially when spectators are allowed."

If schools decide to move forward with winter sports and activities despite the guidance, the department also recommends that they not allow spectators for those activities.

Last week, several schools in the Kansas City metro said they decided to end their football seasons due to COVID-19 exposures, including Rockhurst, Lee's Summit North and Oak Park.

The Johnson County, Kansas, Department of Health and Environment made similar recommendations to schools last week. Some school districts decided to go against the recommendations and proceed with winter sports and activities.