KINGWOOD, W.Va. — Due to a recent outbreak of COVID-19 in Preston County, the county Board of Education officially approved the cancellation of Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the WVSSAC’s reopening plan, though coaches had already agreed to do so.
In late May, the WVSSAC announced schools could begin strength and conditioning workouts beginning June 8, with strict guidelines in place. Phase 1 allowed athletes to work in pods of 10, outdoors only while wearing masks and practicing social distancing. Phase 2 was much of the same, except indoor facilities could be used and pods could increase to 25.
Phase 2 was set to begin June 22, but with so many positive cases in a recent surge throughout Preston County due to trips to Myrtle Beach, S.C., coaches — football, girls’ soccer, wrestling and cross-country — voluntarily decided to shut down workouts for the sake of student safety.
“With the large spike in the number of cases of COVID-19 and many of these being students, we have chosen to halt our Phase 1 and Phase 2 plans,” Preston County Superintendent Steve Wotring said. “We will hopefully be able to regroup for the three-week window that begins July 6, 2020. We will be working closely with the Preston County Health Department as we enter the three-week window to ensure we are making the safest decisions for our kids, their families and our community.”
Phase 3 of the WVSSAC plan was the typical three-week workout period, which was moved to July rather than mid-June. Tentatively, the three-weeks period is still slated to begin July 6 and last through July 24 for Preston County, but the BOE will keep in close contact with the WVSSAC and Preston County Health Department throughout the next two weeks.