CANTON, N.Y. (WWNY) - Section X school districts announced Friday that they’re not ready to begin high-risk winter sports.
Officials said the decision is “based on the present health crisis in Franklin and St. Lawrence Counties and due to concerns about logistics necessary to make these programs safe and successful.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced last week that high-risk athletics may begin based on current local health factors and school districts’ abilities to meet specific requirements set by local departments of health.
While the New York State Department of Health set minimum requirements for participation in high-risk athletics, local departments of health, schools, or other organizations may establish further guidelines in order to protect the health and safety of their communities.
Since the announcement, the 24 school districts of Section X have worked with public health officials.
“At the present time, our region is experiencing high positivity rates and a decline in hospital capacity. There has also been a sharp increase in the number of school staff and students placed in mandatory quarantine over the past few weeks, which in many cases has affected districts’ ability to hold in-person learning,” officials said in a news release.
In the interim, school districts will continue to meet and work on required plans so that when feasible, a return to high-risk athletics will be as safe as possible.
In a news release, Section X Director Carl Normandin said that officials will be looking at models “for potentially conducting an abbreviated winter, fall 2 and spring sports season once the health and safety factors indicate that it is safe to do so.”