WESTFIELD, NJ — All high school sports scrimmages are canceled through next week as extracurricular activities throughout the district continue to be called off in light of the spread of the novel coronavirus, called COVID-19.

Schools Superintendent Dr. Margaret Dolan told parents Thursday that the scrimmages have been canceled through to March 22, but athletic practices will continue.

“We are examining our practices involving afterschool and extracurricular activities,” Dolan said in a message to parents. “This includes athletics, performing arts and field trips.”

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Westfield public schools previously announced an early dismissal for Wednesday, March 18, so that teaching staff could prepare for remote learning in the anticipated event of long-term closures. Other districts have chosen earlier dates to close for such preparations.

“I chose that date to give parents time to find childcare, if necessary, so we will keep it in place,” Dolan said. “Please know that, again, if our plans need to change, we are prepared.”

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In a statement Thursday, the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association said it would hold upcoming boys and girls basketball championships Thursday night with only the teams and “essential staff” present. There will be no fans allowed at the games, the statement said.

“There will be no sanctions or penalties imposed on schools who opt not to participate in tonight’s games,” the NJSIAA said. “Fans can live-stream the remaining games at highschoolsports.nj.com/watch/.”

Click here to view the full Westfield High School athletics calendar.

The Westfield High School play, "Chicago: High School Edition," which was originally set for Thursday - Saturday nights has additionally been canceled, School Principal Mary Asfendis said.

“We did not make this decision lightly," Asfendis said in a statement. "We explored all options prior to making this decision, including videotaping or live-streaming which is not allowed under the licensing agreement. We have not yet set new performance dates but purchased tickets will be redeemable for the new dates.”

In related news, the New Jersey Festival Orchestra’s performance of two operas in Westfield, which originally was set for Saturday, has also been called off, a spokeswoman for the NJFO said.

The nearest known coronavirus cases to Westfield include a 48-year-old Berkeley Heights man and a 74-year-old an Edison man.

As of 1 p.m. Thursday, the number of “presumptive positive” cases of COVID-19 across New Jersey had risen to 29, including one death, according to the state Health Department.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Email Matt Kadosh at mkadosh@tapinto.net | Twitter: @MattKadosh

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