Anne Arundel County schools suspend in-person sports amid coronavirus uptick

Anne Arundel County Public Schools has suspended all in-person athletics and extracurricular activities, effective immediately, because of a recent rise in COVID-19 cases.

Superintendent George Arlotto made the announcement Monday, citing an uptick in coronavirus cases in the county, where the average number of new cases per 100,000 residents over a seven-day period had risen to 21.3 as of Sunday.

Arlotto also noted a recent spate of positive tests among participants in high school athletics programs.

It means an end to all in-person athletic practices, both indoor and outdoor, for the fall offseason. Spring practices, which were set to begin Nov. 16, will now start off virtual.

All other in-person extracurricular activities also have been halted until further notice, although virtual gatherings can go on as scheduled.

The start of the winter sports season, scheduled for Dec. 7, will be evaluated over the coming weeks.

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“I have said since the beginning of this pandemic that our school system is not going to be the reason that people get sick or spread this virus,” Arlotto said in a news release. “The prudent thing to do now is to curtail in-person activities until the case rate returns to a level that we can resume them.”

Last week, the Anne Arundel County school board voted to delay the full implementation of a hybrid model that would’ve brought students in early childhood intervention programs, and in pre-K through second grade, back to the classroom part time.

At the time, Arlotto said outdoor sports would continue, but now all activities and instruction in the county will be done virtually.

The AACPS Athletics website will be providing weekly updates on the status of sports practices from Nov. 16 to Dec. 5.

D.C., Maryland and Virginia have all seen coronavirus case numbers go up over the past week.

On Sunday, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan activated an order to bring in medical volunteers because of an anticipated second wave of COVID-19.

Anna Gawel

Anna Gawel joined WTOP in 2020 and works in both the radio and digital departments. Anna Gawel has spent much of her career as the managing editor of The Washington Diplomat, which has been the flagship publication of D.C.’s diplomatic community for over 25 years.

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