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Orange County Shuts Down Its Youth Sports Leagues As Pediatric COVID-19 Cases Surge

Photo: Baylee Gramling
Photo: Baylee Gramling

Orange County has shut down its youth sports leagues as coronavirus cases continue to surge in the area. 

County Mayor Jerry Demings says the decision was made due to the fact that children 11 years old and younger can’t get the shot yet. 

Demings says county-wide recreational facilities and parks are still open at this time. 

“We know that this has disappointed nearly 1,100 boys and girls who take part in the sports leagues. But we can not take a chance with their welfare.”

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Orange County Public Schools will continue to run its sports programs, as most of those programs involve children 12 and up.

OCPS spokesperson Scott Howat says teams and staff are being closely monitored for coronavirus.

“What we’re doing is just following it very closely. Obviously, we’re working closely with Dr. Pino and his staff watching for cases, confirmed cases. Making sure that again, emphasizing, if athletes don’t feel well, don’t come to practice, don’t come to school. Stay home.”

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Howat says several games have already been canceled in the first week of school.

On Thursday, the football game scheduled between Edgewater and Seminole High Schools was canceled due to reports of unconfirmed COVID cases on the Edgewater team.

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.