The CDC’s latest recommendations of limiting the spread of COVID-19 targets students ages Kindergarten through 12th grade regarding their extracurricular activities.
The CDC recommends sports with high contact, such as football and wrestling, as well as large organizations on campus, such as band, should be canceled to limit the spread of COVID-19.
“If they were to cancel sports and band, it’d be really tough on these kids. For a lot of them, this is their life,” said Morro Bay High Athletic Director, John Andree.
“I think you did see the mental health of young student-athletes go downhill,” said San Luis Obispo High Athletic Director, Marci Beddall.
Ten months after sports made their return to San Luis Obispo County, the CDC is recommending several should be canceled due to potential COVID-19 concerns.
“I think it’s a reaction to the numbers that we’re seeing, the numbers are increasing in our county and obviously all across the United States,” said Beddall. “Whatever the county says that we need to do in order to keep our athletes safe we abide by 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 pretty good job with that,” said Andree.
The concern of the mental health of students is something administrators say to keep in mind.
“Our number one priority is to keep our athletes safe, but we’re always optimistically cautious that we’re going to bring athletics for our athletes. Whether it’s sports, band, or choir, whatever it is, sometimes those external things are what motivates them to come to school,” said Beddall.
A year after rushing back football, proper offseason training is also in question.
“It’s important 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 throwing them out there again and say to them to play football,” said Andree.
“We saw this last year when we had no sports for months and months and then we crammed all the sports in,” said Beddall.
The community transmission level 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:
Reporting is delayed right now as schools and our Public Health case investigation teams are overwhelmed by the current surge in cases. However, we are aware from school nurses and our outbreak response teams that outbreaks are happening in connection with sports teams countywide. This includes at least 12 sports teams that have paused practice and play over the past two weeks while teams recover and complete their isolation and quarantine periods.