Student reacts to Hanover Co. sport suspension amid COVID-19 spike

Students react to sports suspension

HANOVER, Va. (WWBT) - Hanover County announced on Friday that it would be sidelining its winter sports just two days before basketball practice was set to begin.

Winter sports aren’t officially called off yet, but the county says it’s suspending all practices, conditioning programs, tryouts for extracurricular activities starting Monday, citing a spike in COVID-19 cases.

“When you can go to those sporting events, you can see your peers participate and see them show their passions. So you’re kind of losing that connection to them and that connection to your school that you’re already loosing through your masks and your social distancing,” said Kaley Vincent.

Kaley is an Atlee High School senior, and though she may not play any high school sports, she understands the morale it brings student-athletes — both as a student who documents sports for her school’s yearbook and someone who supports her sister during her volleyball games.

“I was really excited when she started playing volleyball, and now she doesn’t have that family, and it’s just been really upsetting to see,” said Kaley.

As of Saturday Hanover County’s positive case total for COVID-19 sits at 2,583 which is up more than 550 cases in the past week alone.

The 7-day PCR testing positivity rate jumped from 8.8 percent on Dec. 3 to 9.5% on Dec. 4. On Dec. 5, the positivity rate reached 10%. At the peak of the pandemic, that figure was more than 20 percent.

“Our positivity rate a few months ago was up over 20 percent, we got down to 5 percent and now we’re up to over 10 percent, so we want to stop that trend and encourage Virginians to do the right thing,” said Ralph Northam.

Northam is hoping that the announcement that the state is now set to receive 480,000 COVID-19 vaccines by the end of December will help to curb the most recent spike in COVID-19 cases.

“That’s enough doses to really get to our frontline health care workers and also our long-term care facilities both our residents and our staff,” said Northam.

Kaley says that can’t come soon enough, as Hanover athletes wait their turn to get back in the game.

“It’s kind of upsetting, because you’re not really getting to have that expression of your passion, their passion and pride in your school,” said Kaley.

The county says students are still allowed to participate in extracurricular activities connected to instruction that fall in line with Hanover’s current health protocols. The county will announce its final decision about the winter sports season by Friday, Dec. 18.

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