Monday, 28 August 2023

'Surge in COVID cases' cancels several high school football games in South Carolina

 Multiple high school football games in South Carolina were canceled recently due to a lack of players and alleged safety protocols over an increase in COVID-19 cases on the teams.

Games featuring teams from Lexington, Orangeburg, and Columbia, South Carolina, were canceled after the reported surge caused some schools to resort to state health guidelines. 

A Spring Valley vs. White Knoll game was canceled, both varsity and junior varsity, according WACH Fox 57.

“Tonight’s Spring Valley vs. White Knoll football game has been canceled,” the school district said in a news release, The State reported.

“The Spring Valley football team has had a surge in COVID cases and other illnesses. For the safety of all involved, and due to a lack of available players, the decision was made to cancel last night’s junior varsity as well as tonight’s varsity game.”

In addition, this was followed by the cancellation of Keenan vs. Orangeburg-Wilkinson. 

“There was a COVID-19 outbreak on Keenan’s football team,” said Karen York, communications director for school district Richland 1. “Thirteen of Keenan’s football players reported testing positive for COVID. We are following the guidelines recommended by DHEC.”

The district official was referring to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. 

The football games were believed to be some of the first COVID cancellations across the state since the 2021 season. According to local reports, between 10% and 12% of high school games were canceled or postponed due to COVID in 2020, even a championship game.

Extreme heat has also reportedly forced some games to be rescheduled.

Outlet The State cited COVID-19 strain "XBB.1.5 — a subvariant of the COVID-19 Omicron variant" as the reason for an increase in cases and hospitalizations in South Carolina.

Some institutions appear ready to bring back COVID mandates, with companies such as Lionsgate having brought back a mask mandate within certain parts of their facilities after some workers recently tested positive for COVID-19.

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