Coronavirus: School districts restrict sports, student activities over COVID-19 concerns

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Local school district leaders joined together on Thursday to announce plans to restrict sports and other student activities because of the threat of COVID-19, but the schools will continue with scheduled classes.

Superintendents are taking cues from the Governor's Office and canceling sports and other after school events.

"We don't make any of these decisions in a vacuum. You need to hear unequivocally that all these decisions with the Department of Public Health here in Fresno Department of Public Health with the State of California," said Fresno Unified School District Superintendent Bob Nelson.

While fears over the spread of COVID-19 mount, local school districts are taking extra precautions by canceling or postponing all sporting events and other non-essential group gatherings.

Fresno Unified is hoping to reduce the risk by postponing activities through at least April 13th.

"We recognize this is very difficult because our kids have worked very, very hard to show what they can do and we recognize the difficulty that presents to our families as they have to face the potential disappointment associated with not being able to participate in those events," said Nelson.

As of now, classes will remain as scheduled at Central Valley schools while administrators monitor news of the virus and await guidance from the state.

"School closures is a big topic of discussion right now and we're having the discussion but we're not prepared to even make that type of decision at this point," said Central Unified School District Superintendent Andrew Alvarado.

The governing body of California High School athletics, CIF, has canceled this weekend's high school state basketball championships because of the global crisis.

Officials made the announcement after meeting with executive officers Wednesday night, the same day the NBA suspended operations.

The CIF is now working on logistics on how to proceed heading into the Spring sports season

"We do want to be a resource for our member schools and we're actually meeting with ten section commissioners next week to go over some options and resources we can provide to our member schools and their school districts and how to proceed with the Spring championships," said CIF spokesperson Rebecca Brutlag.

Administrators are working on a plan in case classes need to be canceled.
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