I will be lifting the pause for organized sports beginning tomorrow, Wednesday, November 18, 2020 at 6 AM. I do not make these decisions lightly and I have carefully considered the community as a whole.
Fifty percent of the recent spike in Covid-19 cases arose from Halloween parties whereas the remaining 50% predominately from sports. I have closely monitored the cases, number of patients recovered, and community spread-- generally. Taking this time to slow the spread of the virus has been effective in its purpose. I thank the greater community for the support and assistance in making this happen. Thus, in consultation with our Health Officer and our Office of Emergency Management Coordinator, at this time I believe it is permissible to cautiously lift the restriction early to allow for outdoor organized sports with an important conditional caveat.
Participants who will be adjacent to other players, while not involved in active play, must wear a mask. Specifically, players sitting on a bench (or standing) for more than 10 minutes, who cannot socially distance at least 6 feet from other players, should be masked. Contact tracing has determined that the recent outbreak and spread of the virus occurred mainly when our children were sitting (or standing) on the sidelines/ or bench cheering and shouting thereby exchanging droplets.
It is important that we balance the health and safety of our community while following the data that allows for our children and residents to participate in sports and exercise safely. I strongly encourage everyone to use extra vigilance while participating in sports with the new state restrictions of 150 people outdoors. But also, while indoors as the Governor has decreased capacity to 10 people, per Executive Order #196.
Stay healthy and safe.