WASHINGTON COURTHOUSE, Ohio (WCMH)– The Fayette County Public Health (FCPH) has seen an increase of COVID-19 cases among student-athletes in both the Miami Trace Local and Washington Court House City School Districts during the past 7 days. According to a news release from the FCPH, a total of 26 positive cases among students have been reported since December 9, 2020. As a result, nine school sports teams are fully quarantined and one is partially quarantined. They represent approximately 100 student-athletes between the two districts.

Case investigations and contact tracing have revealed that most of the current school cases are occurring among students who participate in sports.

“This is not entirely surprising, as indoor activities including winter sports are considered higher risk than outdoor activities/sports,” said Leigh N. Cannon who is the FCPH Deputy Health Commissioner. “This not only affects the teams by eliminating their ability to practice and compete, but it also prevents the students who participate in sports from participating in onsite learning. A few students have been quarantined numerous times. As a result, we are concerned that student-athletes are not receiving the education that they need and deserve.”

Now, schools are being advised to suspend all athletic competitions for Miami Trace Local Schools, Washington Court House City Schools, and Fayette Christian School from December 19, 2020, until at least January 4, 2021.

Practice schedules for a hybrid option are being developed and will be presented to the districts. According to the FCPH, this will allow the athletes to maintain conditioning.

“This was not an easy decision and we understand that there will be a disappointment, but we hope this pause from competitions and the implementation of hybrid practice schedules will allow students to stay healthy and return to school after the holiday break,” said Cannon in the news release.