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New York Education Depart. Recommends Canceling Football in High COVID Areas

August 16, 2021 / Athletic AdministrationFootball
Late last week, the New York State Education Department recommended canceling football and other high-risk sports in areas with high COVID-19 transmission rates, “unless all participants are fully vaccinated.”

When the Empire State’s education department met on August 12, they released a set of school reopening guidelines for the 2021-22 academic school year, according to a report in the Democrat & Chronicle.

The state’s health department includes volleyball and competitive cheer/dance to be higher-risk sports in addition to football. The Democrat & Chronicle reported that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has highlighted at least 25 counties in New York with “high” rates of COVID transmission in the last week.

“High-risk sports and extracurricular activities should be virtual or canceled in areas of high community transmission unless all participants are fully vaccinated,” the guidelines read.

The Democrat & Chronicle reached out to various high school coaches and athletic administrators across the state to gauge their reaction.

Below is an excerpt from those responses.

“It’s not surprising and it’s unfortunate because of what the kids missed last year, and here we are again doing the same thing and there can be a lot of opportunities missed once again,” Port Jervis football coach Damien Striharsky said. “To be honest, for what? We pushed it off (moving the season to the spring). To me, I don’t see if that helped or hurt, but I think it was indifferent. For this to happen again, I feel bad for the kids, for the student-athletes.”

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“We’re heading right back to where we were (with sports last fall), I’m afraid,” Somers athletic director Roman Catalino said. “When I hear ‘high risk’ I think of what we did last year.”