BAY MINETTE, Alabama — Baldwin County High School has suspended athletic practice and competition for three sports until Sept. 9 after a dozen new cases of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases were reported among BCHS athletes from different sports.
In a statement released Monday, Baldwin County School Superintendent said the move was made after consultation with Baldwin County High School Principal Craig Smith and Athletic Director/Head Football Coach Scott Rials.
“As these cases cover several sports, co-ed teams and age groups, we do not see a specific causation,” according to the statement released by Tyler. “We are aware the coronavirus is in our schools, at our practice fields, within our communities and at home. We do not know if these athletes spread the virus through their contact at practice or through their contact outside of campus but out of an abundance of caution for the safety of our students and staff, we will take a break and resume after Labor Day.”
According to a published report, the sports of football, cross country and volleyball would be affected by the suspension.
A statement was released on the BCHS Tigers Football Facebook Page on Monday that the Tigers varsity football contests at home Sept. 4 against Blount and on the road Sept. 11 at Saraland, both 6A Region 1 contests, have been canceled. The Tigers next scheduled contest is at Spanish Fort Sept. 18.
According to the report, both games would have to be forfeited, leaving the Tigers with an 0-3 overall record, 0-2 in 6A Region 1 competition following an opening home loss to Mary G. Montgomery Aug. 21. BCHS was not scheduled to play Aug. 28.
“Due to the health, safety and well-being of our players, coaches, and support staff, we will halt football activities effective immediately until further notice,” according to the post. “We ask for your support during this time and we look forward to being able to restart.”
In his statement, Tyler said the suspension only pertains to Baldwin county High School and does not include any other school or athletic groups in the county.
“As I have said throughout this process, we reserve the right to change or implement new policies as we see fit to protect our students, staff and community,” according to the statement. “There are no policy changes to announce at this time beyond this one instance at BCHS and I do not expect this will extend to other schools or programs.
“I am pleased with how our protocols have worked thus far and we will continue to spray our facilities and implement our standard mitigation protocols while actively monitoring case reports.”
Because of federal privacy laws, Tyler said, Baldwin County Public Schools cannot break down COVID-19 numbers any further than what is provided in the nightly COVID Transparency Report.
“We do not have a set number on possible/confirmed cases when making this determination but rather leave it up to the principals and athletic directors to decide what is best for their school and athletes,” according to the statement. “Thank you for your time and continued support of Baldwin County Public Schools.”