Parents, student-athletes bemoan new guidance suggesting high-risk sports be canceled

The Education Department is recommending that sports considered high risk -- such as volleyball, football, competitive cheer and dance -- be canceled in areas where the delta variant is spreading quickly, unless all participants have been vaccinated.

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Aug 13, 2021, 9:53 PM

Updated 1,036 days ago

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High school sports are scheduled to return Aug. 23, but new guidance from the state suggests they be canceled entirely.
The Education Department is recommending that sports considered high risk -- such as volleyball, football, competitive cheer and dance -- be canceled in areas where the delta variant is spreading quickly, unless all participants have been vaccinated.
Anthony Nicodemo, the athletic director at the Greenburgh-North Castle School District, insists he has no idea what will happen.
"They put out guidance but don't know exactly where to go," he said.
Assemblyman Colin Schmitt from Orange County, which boasts a 52% vaccination rate among its population, says that scholastic sports are essential to the overall health and wellbeing of students, who have been suffering without them.
"We need to let our students play. We fought earlier this year to let all students return to interscholastic play, now to have this new updated guidance, is just unacceptable," he said.
Many parents and students are echoing his sentiments.
"Most of us are vaccinated and I feel like we need to get back to sports," said Mia Dellolio, a South Orangetown Student.
"I am extremely against banning sports because the kids need it not only to interact, but to remain healthy. People want to feel free and like their kids are enjoying their childhood and not missing out," said Tara, a parent in Rockland County.
Tara and her children were vaccinated as soon as they were eligible, and she says her friends and their kids did the same.
"We're of the belief that this works for us, I've heard the pros and cons, and were for vaccinations," she said.
Assemblyman Schmitt says he plans on introducing legislation that would bar education officials and the executive branch from restricting or preventing interscholastic sports when it comes to COVID-19.


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