ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (WKRG) — Baldwin County Schools Superintendent Eddie Tyler has suspended Orange Beach High School’s football program and canceled Friday’s game out of COVID-19 concerns.
Read Tyler’s full statement below:
I come to you this afternoon with more news on athletics and COVID. After consultation with Orange Beach Principal Erika McCoy, we have decided to suspend our football program for this week, including the game set for Friday, September 4. This decision is being made proactively, in an abundance of caution. The school plans to evaluate the situation this week and make a decision on possibly extending this suspension for two weeks, after we have test results and better facts.
As was the case with Baldwin County High School, we do not see a specific causation. We are aware the coronavirus is in our schools, at our practice fields, within our communities and at home. We do not know if these athletes spread the virus through their contact at practice or through their contact outside of campus. We do know some athletes from both schools were together this past weekend socially.
With one quarter of our football programs now closed, it is fair to ask if we have a bigger problem with organized athletics. At this time, I do not believe we do. The numbers are not as high as one might think, and in some instances, there are no confirmed COVID cases, only suspected. In my discussion with these principals, the focus is on the health of their students and the preservation of their athletic season. By acting quickly and early, they believe there is a better chance to protect both. I agree and this is why I continue to leave this up to the local principals and athletic directors. As I have said throughout this process, we reserve the right to change or implement new policies as we see fit to protect our students, staff and community and I will continue to monitor numbers and trends.
Note, due to federal privacy laws, we cannot break down COVID numbers any further than what is provided here and in our nightly COVID Transparency Report. We do not have a set number on possible/confirmed cases when making this determination but rather leave it up to the principals and athletic directors to decide what is best for their school and athletes.
Thank you for your time and continued support of Baldwin County Public Schools.