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Phoenix Union stops fall sports, delays winter sports with rising virus metrics

(Instagram Photo/ PhoenixUnionHS)

PHOENIX – The Phoenix Union High School District announced Thursday it plans to formally end the fall sports season and delay the start of winter sports as coronavirus cases continue to rise in Arizona.

The fall sports season will conclude Monday after COVID-19 community spread has significantly increased in the past two weeks across the district’s zip codes.

In a press release, the district said it is “committed to using data, not dates” to determine when it’s safe to conduct in-person activities like athletics.

“We know our student-athletes want to return to competition, and we share in their disappointment with this delay,” Phoenix Union Director of Student Connectedness Dr. Zachary Muñoz said. “As we continue to monitor  the  community  spread  of  COVID-19, we hope to meet the benchmarks needed for a safe return.”

The district has only held classes online for this school year and announced in September that it planned to remain in remote learning until at least January.

More than 28,000 students are enrolled in schools in the district.

The district will also delay the start of the winter athletics season, which includes basketball, soccer and wrestling.

Last week, the Arizona Interscholastic Association sent out a chart that showed only seven of Arizona’s 15 counties were cleared to start winter sports on Nov. 9. Maricopa was not cleared to start competition due to the cases per 100,000 people metric.

Phoenix Union has launched a COVID-19 dashboard to track campus specific information about community spread.

Across Arizona, coronavirus cases have continued to surge in recent weeks. On Thursday, Arizona health officials reported 1,399 new coronavirus cases with 12 additional deaths.

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