COVID has disrupted high school sports in Connecticut. There are no plans to pause the season. – CT Insider

The pandemic has forced most people to expect the unexpected, but the December wave of COVID-19 has taken that to another level.

CIAC executive director Glenn Lungarini said that on a call with state superintendents on Dec. 21, there was no indication that any changes were coming to guidance for athletes wearing masks for indoor winter sports. By the next night, the state Department of Health said for all athletes, regardless of vaccination, to mask up with limited exceptions.

“When you look at the rates, it’s understandable,” Lungarini said. Even after that date, in a state where seven-day COVID-19 case numbers had rarely and barely crested 20,000 since the pandemic burst out here in March 2020, Connecticut reported over 35,000 positive tests for the week that ended Thursday. Hospitalizations almost tripled in a month and topped 1,000 for the first time in 11 months.

“Schools have done a good job adapting to the change,” Lungarini said. “Most of them were still in session, so they continued on with masks in place.”

A year after winter sports lost out on CIAC state tournaments, settling for conference tournaments that were sometimes blown apart by team quarantines, the expectation remains that winter athletes will get their full seasons and full tournaments.

The path to March may have some steep hills.

“This week between Christmas and New Year’s, on the schedule were supposed to be 14 basketball games, five ice hockey games, two wrestling events and a track meet,” Ridgefield athletic director Dane Street said. “When all is said and done, what we got through were five basketball, one hockey, a quad meet in wrestling turned into a dual meet, and we did send some kids to a track event.”

A slew of tournaments have been affected this week. As of Thursday afternoon, 136 games or meets were listed as postponed or canceled on the CIAC’s master varsity schedules for winter sports; three indoor track meets affected at least 30 schools.

To underscore the whack-a-mole feeling of trying to tabulate that number, by later Thursday afternoon, Seymour’s boys basketball team announced it was on a two-week pause.

This doesn’t include games that were already rescheduled, and in some cases canceled games or tournaments are removed from the site entirely. Some postponements or cancellations may not yet be marked. And COVID protocols didn’t necessarily force all of those postponements, either.

Still, Lungarini estimated that at least 80 percent of contests remained on last week, at least as of Wednesday. He said the CIAC still is not seeing evidence of team-to-team transmission during competition. And since this wave struck early in the season, he’s optimistic that most postponed games can be rescheduled, though the holiday tournaments are a tough loss.

Danbury has lost out on a wrestling tournament and a girls basketball tournament, athletic director Chip Salvestrini said, and the school has been hit hard.

“We were sort of riding along very nicely until probably last Thursday or Friday” before Christmas, Salvestrini said Thursday. “We closed things down on Sunday for basketball, wrestling. Today we allowed track to participate, but for the most part we shut down practices, 90% of the program.

“The hope is to have everybody ready to go Monday afternoon, planning to start up practices … provided there’s nothing additional.”

Players and coaches had COVID, and there were a lot of other athletes potentially exposed.

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Source: https://www.ctinsider.com/gametimect/article/COVID-has-disrupted-high-school-sports-in-16742488.php

The pandemic has forced most people to expect the unexpected, but the December wave of COVID-19 has taken that to another level.

CIAC executive director Glenn Lungarini said that on a call with state superintendents on Dec. 21, there was no indication that any changes were coming to guidance for athletes wearing masks for indoor winter sports. By the next night, the state Department of Health said for all athletes, regardless of vaccination, to mask up with limited exceptions.

“When you look at the rates, it’s understandable,” Lungarini said. Even after that date, in a state where seven-day COVID-19 case numbers had rarely and barely crested 20,000 since the…….

The pandemic has forced most people to expect the unexpected, but the December wave of COVID-19 has taken that to another level.

CIAC executive director Glenn Lungarini said that on a call with state superintendents on Dec. 21, there was no indication that any changes were coming to guidance for athletes wearing masks for indoor winter sports. By the next night, the state Department of Health said for all athletes, regardless of vaccination, to mask up with limited exceptions.

“When you look at the rates, it’s understandable,” Lungarini said. Even after that date, in a state where seven-day COVID-19 case numbers had rarely and barely crested 20,000 since the…….

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