The Kansas State High School Activities Association, in response to the ongoing spread of the coronavirus, has shut down all athletics and extracurricular activities from March 16-22.
The KSHSAA released a statement on Sunday announcing its decision, which came shortly after a recommendation from the Kansas State Department of Education that all school districts statewide shut down for the week.
As of Sun, March 15, Kansas Education Commissioner Dr. Randy Watson strongly recommends that those schools currently coming off of spring break, suspend operations for the week March 16-20. All schools scheduled for spring break the week of March 16-20 will continue as planned.— KS Dept of Education (@ksdehq) March 15, 2020
“Effective Monday, March 16, all spring sports and activities are suspended through Sunday, March 22,” the statement read. “This includes cancellation of all practices and competitions for this week. This prohibition is consistent with KSDE and governmental guidance and may be extended, should conditions warrant. Please note spring sports team members are prohibited from club or outside team participation and practice during this period. Not only would such outside participation be contrary to handbook rule, it would be contrary to the very reason activities are cancelled during the time we seek to mitigate potential transfer of the contagion.”
Spring sports around the state were scheduled to start this week. The KSHSAA canceled basketball state tournaments after the quarterfinals last Thursday after Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly declared a state of emergency in response to the continued spread of the coronavirus.
School districts around the area have already made decisions to shut down schools and all extracurricular activities for the next two weeks.
USD 503 Parsons, USD 447 Cherryvale and USD 505 St. Paul/Chetopa all informed the Sun that athletics would be shut down completely, including practices, for the next two weeks. USD 506 Labette County also sent out a release saying school facilities would be closed until March 29.
“No one will be allowed on district property except essential personnel,” USD 506’s statement said.
Most school districts in the state will likely follow suit as many districts have spring break next week.
At the time of publication, there were eight confirmed cases of patients testing positive for the coronavirus in Kansas with one death.