Student Well-Being

Coronavirus Surge Forces Schools to Suspend Sports for Second Time

By Corey Mitchell — June 26, 2020 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Schools in at least 11 states have suspended high school sports activities this month after players or coaches tested positive for coronavirus amid a resurgence of cases across the United States.

Games, practices or training and conditioning sessions have been suspended in parts of Alabama, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio, and Texas just weeks after schools reopened athletic facilities for students and coaches.

Governors in five of those states—California, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana and Texas—have suspended or delayed their reopening plans as they face increasing coronavirus case counts.

Thus far, high school athletic associations in those states have not paused plans for resuming sports, but one of the nation’s largest school districts has put sports on hold for at least the next two weeks.

In Houston, the largest school system in Texas and one of the 10 largest in the country, all schools have halted training sessions until at least July 13. Districts all across Harris County, where Houston is located, are suspending activities because of a surge in coronavirus cases in the region, the Houston Chronicle reports.

In Iowa, where high school baseball and softball were the first high school sports to begin play in the United States since the coronavirus pandemic shut down activity in March, at least six teams have suspended their seasons, the Quad City Times reports.

Not all coronavirus scares have led schools to shut down games and workouts.

In Georgia, voluntary summer sports workouts are still ongoing even in Gwinnett County, the largest district in the state, where four schools reported cases of students or coaches contracting COVID-19, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

All the cases highlight the risks tied to resuming high school sports amid increasing pressure to find ways to return to play.

In states such as Texas and Georgia, many of the positive coronavirus cases have been tied to football workouts. As school athletic facilities reopened in those states, students and coaches were expected to adhere to mandated social distancing guidelines.

In May, the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee of the National Federation of State High School Associations released guidelines that identify the potential coronavirus infection risk by sport. The panel, which includes medical doctors and certified athletic trainers, listed football in the high-risk category because the sport involves close, sustained contact among players.

The guidelines from the sports advisory committee recommended a measured approach to restarting activities with social distancing in the initial phase. When the guidelines were released, the organization faced pushback from some member states, which argued the ground rules were much too cautious.

Related Reading

How Can School Sports Get Back on the Playing Field?

Which High School Sports Pose the Greatest Risk for Coronavirus Spread?

Photo Credit: With social distancing in mind, football coach Bob Wager, left, and linebacker Morice Blackwell greet each other with elbow taps during the strength and conditioning camp at Arlington Martin High School in Arlington, Tex. -- LM Otero, Associated Press

Related Tags:

A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.

Commenting has been disabled on effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Teaching Webinar
What’s Next for Teaching and Learning? Key Trends for the New School Year
The past 18 months changed the face of education forever, leaving teachers, students, and families to adapt to unprecedented challenges in teaching and learning. As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Curriculum Webinar
How Data and Digital Curriculum Can Drive Personalized Instruction
As we return from an abnormal year, it’s an educator’s top priority to make sure the lessons learned under adversity positively impact students during the new school year. Digital curriculum has emerged from the pandemic
Content provided by Kiddom
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Student Well-Being Opinion Educators, Be Future-Ready, But Don’t Ignore the Present
Being ready for what lies ahead is important, but we also need to gain a better understanding of the here and now.
5 min read
shutterstock 226918177
Student Well-Being Opinion How to Prioritize Student Well-Being This Year
Use the Student Thriving Index to find out where your kids stand. Because you cannot manage what you cannot measure.
2 min read
Images shows a stylized artistic landscape with soothing colors.
Student Well-Being Spotlight Spotlight on Supporting Teachers & Students
In this Spotlight, evaluate your district and what supports your schools offer, assess attendance policies to avoid burnout, and more
Student Well-Being What the Research Says Child Hospitalizations Spike Under Delta, Particularly in Low-Vaccination States
Nationwide, the number of children and teens hospitalized due to COVID-19 has ballooned nearly tenfold since midsummer, new CDC data show.
2 min read
hopital stethescope 1222194507
Aleksandr Titov/iStock/Getty