As cases rise, future of on-campus athletics appears to be in jeopardy

As cases rise, future of on-campus athletics appears to be in jeopardy

COVID-19 CONCERNS: Despite the football team's efforts to conduct socially distanced practices, the school is still reevaluating participant safety.

With COVID-19 cases at an all-time high in California according to the Los Angeles Times, new restrictions may affect on-campus sports practices.

In an all-school email sent by President Rick Commons, the school announced the cancellation of all on-campus activities from Thanksgiving Day to Dec. 4 in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 during the holiday.

“Consistent with state guidelines, we will ask anyone who travels out of California to remain off-campus for a period of 14 days starting from the date of their return,” Commons said in the email.

Even though the school has yet to further cancel any on-campus sports practices, all in-person evening activities have been canceled at least until after winter break, according to an all-school email sent by Head of Upper School Beth Slattery.

Head of Communications and Strategic Initiatives Ari Engelberg said that due to the rise in COVID-19  cases, the school will have to pivot to ensure the safety of students.

“We are likely to make some modifications to the on-campus activities that are currently taking place given the recent rise in [COVID-19] cases in Los Angeles,” Engelberg said. “Those modifications will be announced later this week and may continue to change as prevailing conditions change.”

Girls basketball player Krista Semaan 21 said she doesn’t think the school will continue to hold practices on campus given recent circumstances but trusts the school to make good decisions about her health and safety.

“[The school] has been doing a good job scouting and anticipating the virus and truly puts the safety of every student first,” Semaan said.

In addition to the school making changes in light of the surge in COVID-19 cases, as of  Dec. 1, the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) put a hold on all upcoming fall sports as health officials continue to update health guidelines. Because  CIF doesn’t expect updates until at least Jan. 1, all sports will be delayed pending updated measures.

Girls water polo player Lena Bagley 22 said she feels worried about her upcoming junior season as plans continue to change.

“I think we all feel pretty uncertain about whether there will be a season this year,” Bagley said. “It’s hard to just wait and not know when there will be a definitive answer.”

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