Blackwell wrestling duals cancelled as COVID cases rise

by Jordan Green

All Blackwell Public Schools wresting duals for the month of December have been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, school officials announced Monday.

“All Blackwell wrestling duals for the month of December are cancelled,” school officials said in a statement on the district’s website. “Wrestling will still continue to participate in tournaments.”

While wrestling duals have been canceled, other school sporting events are still ongoing. The district asks spectators and players to exercise caution when attending events.

“We ask that you do not attend any school events if you show any symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever, sore throat, cough, chills, shortness of breath or loss of taste or smell or if you have been in close contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 14 days,” district officials said in a statement on the school’s website.

The district recommends, but does not require, spectators to wear masks when attending events. Officials are asking spectators to sit with their family members and to stay at least two seats away from other groups of people in gymnasiums.

School officials also are asking spectators to practice social distancing when standing in lines to purchase tickets, buy concessions or use restrooms.

“These recommendations are for your safety, but mainly for the protection of our student-athletes so they may continue to compete in their particular sport for the remainder of the season,” officials said.

In the Blackwell High School Fieldhouse, visitors must sit in the bleachers in the southwest corner of the gym.

“All visitors must sit in this section of the field house,” officials said. “Children (6th grade and lower) must be accompanied by an adult at all times while in the high school field house.”

In the Blackwell Middle School gym, visitors must sit in the bleachers on the east side of the gym behind the score board. No one will be allowed to sit in the first row.

“Visiting teams go directly to the locker room and/or sit in the designated visitor section,” officials said. “Children (6th grade and lower) must be accompanied by an adult at all times while in the middle school gym.”

SPORTING EVENTS TO BE SHOWN ONLINE

All home high school sporting events will be livestreamed via Facebook, officials said.

To watch basketball events, follow the page “Blackwell Maroons Basketball.” To watch wrestling events, follow the page “Blackwell Wrestling Club.”

“Please help us in following the above protocols so that our students can continue participating in extracurricular activities,” officials said. “All protocols are subject to change depending on active COVID-19 numbers in our school and community.”

NO NEW ACTIVE CASES AT SCHOOLS

Students were out of school for Thanksgiving break from Nov. 21 to Nov. 29. As a result, no new active coronavirus cases in the district were reported during this time.

“These recommendations are for your safety, but mainly for the protection of our student-athletes so they may continue to compete in their particular sport for the remainder of the season,” officials said.

In the Blackwell High School Fieldhouse, visitors must sit in the bleachers in the southwest corner of the gym.

“All visitors must sit in this section of the field house,” officials said. “Children (6th grade and lower) must be accompanied by an adult at all times while in the high school field house.”

In the Blackwell Middle School gym, visitors must sit in the bleachers on the east side of the gym behind the score board. No one will be allowed to sit in the first row.

“Visiting teams go directly to the locker room and/or sit in the designated visitor section,” officials said. “Children (6th grade and lower) must be accompanied by an adult at all times while in the middle school gym.”

SPORTING EVENTS TO BE SHOWN ONLINE

All home high school sporting events will be livestreamed via Facebook, officials said.

To watch basketball events, follow the page “Blackwell Maroons Basketball.” To watch wrestling events, follow the page “Blackwell Wrestling Club.”

“Please help us in following the above protocols so that our students can continue participating in extracurricular activities,” officials said. “All protocols are subject to change depending on active COVID-19 numbers in our school and community.”

NO NEW ACTIVE CASES AT SCHOOLS

Students were out of school for Thanksgiving break from Nov. 21 to Nov. 29. As a result, no new active coronavirus cases in the district were reported during this time.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the district had no active cases of the coronavirus, Superintendent Shawn Haskins said.

“Nothing is active as of 1:44 p.m. on Dec. 1, 2020,” Haskins said. “We haven’t had anything in school-wise. Now, each site has told me we still have some kids in quarantine, but it’s all related outside school.”

Haskins said case numbers may rise in the coming days because students may have been exposed to the virus during Thanksgiving break.

“I’ve thought this for the last couple of weeks that Tuesday and Wednesday could be our rough days at school,” he said. “Kids that got exposed or teachers that got exposed over the break, they typically start showing symptoms between days two and days five, is what I’m told. If they got together on Thanksgiving or Friday, days two to five kind of pushes it out to about this part of the week. But so far, we’re good.”

COUNTY NUMBERS RISE

Kay County has almost 1,900 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, state health officials reported Tuesday.

As of press time, data from the Oklahoma State Health Department showed that Kay County had 1,899 cases of the virus, 348 of which are active. Officials said 1,526 Kay County residents have recovered from the virus, and 25 have died from it.

State officials report that there are 1,385 cases of the virus in Ponca City. Thirteen people there have died, and 1,107 have recovered. Blackwell has 219 cases, with 171 recoveries and four deaths, up one from the previous week. Newkirk has 166 cases, with 135 recoveries and one death. Kaw City has 33 cases, with 26 recoveries and one death. Tonkawa has 130 cases, with 110 recoveries and five deaths. Braman has six cases, with four recoveries and no deaths.

The state health department does not provide data on coronavirus cases in some of the state’s smallest towns, including Nardin in Kay County.

As of press time, the State of Oklahoma had 199,482 cases of the virus. Of those cases, 30,318 are active. Statewide, 167,406 people have recovered from the virus, and 1,758 people have died from it.

The United States has more than 13.5 million cases of the virus. More than 268,000 Americans have died from it, and more than 5.1 million have recovered from it.



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