CDC recommends canceling contact sports and larger extracurricular school activities

The CDC’s latest recommendations to limit the spread of COVID-19 target K-12 students with regard to their extracurricular activities.

The CDC recommends that high-contact sports, such as football and wrestling, as well as large campus organizations, such as bands, be canceled to limit the spread of COVID-19.

“If they had to cancel sports and the group, it would be really difficult for these children. For many of them, it’s their life,” said Morro Bay High athletic director John Andree.

“I think you’ve seen the mental health of young student-athletes deteriorate,” said Marci Beddall, athletic director of San Luis Obispo High.

Ten months after sports returned to San Luis Obispo County, the CDC recommends that several be canceled due to potential COVID-19 issues.

“I think it’s a reaction to the numbers we’re seeing, the numbers are going up in our county and obviously all over the United States,” Beddall said. “Whatever the county says we need to do to keep our athletes safe, we are following the guidelines.”

“It’s very frustrating because everyone is working very hard to follow their rules and guidelines and I think we’re doing a good job with that,” Andrée said.

Concern for student mental health is something administrators say to keep in mind.

“Our number one priority is to keep our athletes safe, but we are always cautious with optimism about the possibility of bringing athletics to our athletes. Whether it’s sports, group or of a choir, whatever, sometimes it’s those outside things that motivate them to come to school,” Beddall said.

A year after football’s hasty return, good off-season training is also in question.

“It’s important that they do this training and if we take that away from them, I don’t know how we could prepare for a season by just sending them back there and telling them to play football,” Andrée said.

“We saw that last year when we didn’t have sports for months and months and then we crammed all the sports in,” Beddall said.

The level of community transmission of COVID-19 remains classified as high in San Luis Obispo County.

San Luis Obispo County Public Health addressed the situation with the following statement:

Notification is currently delayed as schools and our public health case investigation teams are overwhelmed by the current increase in cases. However, we know from school nurses and our outbreak response teams that outbreaks are occurring in connection with sports teams throughout the county. This includes at least 12 sports teams that have halted training and play over the past two weeks as teams recover and complete their periods of isolation and quarantine.

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