RCHD’s Recommendation to Schools Regarding Sports & Extra Curricular Activities

Presented by Hometown-Motors, Inc.

November 20th, the Ross County Health District released an open letter cautioning citizens about the amount of new COVID-19 cases reported to the Health District offices (484 since November 1st and over 700 in October) and the deaths of 56 residents due to the coronavirus as a concern for a potential increase in hospitalizations. “We face an uncertain future with a decrease in hospital capacity and limited staffing” stated the letter.

This week, RCHD made a recommendation to the county school districts regarding youth sports and extra curricular activities. In a release (see below) to local schools Wednesday, RCHD recommended “the postponement of winter youth sports games/competitions and extracurricular activities for schools in our jurisdiction. This recommendation is a mitigation strategy aimed at reducing the severity and lowering harm. This is a not a cancellation, but a postponement to help get us through the holiday season.”

Of Ross County’s districts, only Chillicothe City Schools took the RCHD’s recommendation, suspending athletic competitions and extra curricular activities until January 5, 2021.

By placing their seasons on hold, Chillicothe High School and Middle School Athletic Departments have begun rescheduling games. CHS AD Mike Barren told Litter Media Wednesday afternoon he’s rescheduling as many of the games he can, with priority given to the games in the Frontier Athletic Conference. At the varsity level, that means the Boys and Girls Basketball teams will miss the entire first round of FAC play, five games each, plus six non-conference Girls games, four Boys games, ten Bowling matches, six Swim Meets and two Wrestling Meets.

RCHD explained “We certainly understand the impact of our recommendations, but the health district is looking at the totality of the situation. Case counts are just one factor that we must take into consideration when formulating our recommendations. Outpatient visits, emergency department visits, hospital admissions, and Intensive Care Unit bed availability in our region are all reaching critical levels. We do not make this recommendation lightly but do so to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 within our schools and communities.”

The recommendation is effective immediately and will last until January 1, 2021.

“At that time, we will reassess the situation and evaluate the data to determine whether the recommendation shall continue” stated the release. “This is not an order, but a recommendation and it has been made in consultation with our school leaders.”