COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Columbus City Schools announced Thursday that all in-person interscholastic athletics and extracurricular activities will be suspended due to concerns of COVID-19. 

The district says the suspension will go into effect Friday. 

“CCS will continue to evaluate this suspension as the District monitors the Ohio Public Health Advisory Alert System and guidance from Columbus Public Health officials,” a release from CCS reads. 

“Today’s decision is a difficult one, but throughout this pandemic, our top priority has been the health and safety of our students, their families, our staff, and the Columbus community,” said CCS Superintendent/CEO Dr. Talisa Dixon. “We all know how important athletics and extracurricular activities are to our students, as well as the fabric of our schools and the communities they serve. But we also know the importance of protecting the health and safety of our students and those communities. We must make our decisions about the fall with that in mind. 

“The spread of COVID-19 in our district boundaries continues to grow, and our local health officials have advised us against moving forward with in-person sports and activities. As we have with all other decisions, we will heed the guidance of the medical professionals who are acting in the best interest of our community. If we get additional guidance that recommends allowing in-person activities, we will reevaluate this suspension.” 

CCS says high school athletic teams have been permitted to participate in limited summer training and workouts since July 1. Those activities will be suspended from occurring beginning on Friday, August 14.

The district is scheduled start the school year with all virtual classes on September 8.