Eye-popping COVID positivity rate may sideline winter sports in Wyandotte County

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Winter sports could be off limits in Wyandotte County. The health department is joining its neighbors in Johnson County, Kansas, to recommend no indoor activities for schools, youth and private club sports organizations.

Basketball season is just around the corner. But in many metro high schools, hoops and other winter sports might not happen.

“We’re feeling like our jaws are dropping within the health department.  We’re seeing actually a really high, sustained rate of community spread within Wyandotte County,” said Dr. Erin Corriveau, Wyandotte Co. Unified Government Public Health Department deputy health officer.

Right now, nearly 18% of those getting tested for COVID-19 in the county are positive. The health department is concerned as more people gather indoors, the virus will spread even more. That’s why Wyandotte County is asking schools and youth groups to consider keeping gyms empty this winter.

“We have a tremendous amount of community spread at this point in time.  We just don’t feel like it’s smart.  It’s not a good time to play sports inside with heavy breathing, kids getting really close to each other, not able to socially distance at all times.  So that’s why we’re so worried about it,” Dr. Corriveau said.

If schools insist on having a season, they recommend athletes stay together in small groups as much as possible, for attendance to be strictly limited following the county’s current cap at 45 people or less, and to monitor students for symptoms.

We asked Wyandotte County Schools how they plan to handle winter sports as a result of the health department’s new guidance.

Turner USD 202 says its board of education will meet Tuesday, Nov. 3rd to consider the recommendations.

Piper Schools told FOX4, “Our administration and Board of Education have just received and will be reviewing the recommendations from the Unified Government Public Health Department. At this time we have no further comment.”

We have yet to hear plans from Kansas City, Kan. or Bonner Springs-Edwardsville schools.

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