ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona schools chief Hoffman wants winter sports paused to slow COVID-19

Nov 17, 2020, 5:00 PM | Updated: Nov 18, 2020, 7:36 am

(Pexels Photo)...

(Pexels Photo)

(Pexels Photo)

PHOENIX — Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman believes that winter sports should be paused in schools in order to slow another spike of coronavirus cases in the state.

Hoffman told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gaydos and Chad on Tuesday that a postponement of winter sports would be one of several mitigation strategies that would help Arizona schools remain open during the pandemic.

“I know how much we love sports and it breaks my heart to be having this conversation as someone who loves sports, but we absolutely need to take steps to suspend winter sports,” Hoffman said.

“I don’t see how anyone thinks that basketball or wrestling is safe during this COVID-19 spike.”

The Arizona Interscholastic Association, the governing arm for high school sports in the state, made a recommendation Monday to its executive board to delay the start of winter sports until some time in January.

Hoffman said she would be speaking with Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ and David Hines, AIA executive director, on Wednesday to discuss the status of winter sports.

AZDHS could enact an emergency measure to stop sports, according to Hoffman, although the likeliness of that happening is unknown.

Some alterations have already been made for the winter season, which officially kicked off for practice on Nov. 9.

“We need to be proactive, not reactive,” Hoffman said. “As we see the cases spiking again in Arizona, we need to take action.”

The call for action comes as Arizona continues to see a surge in cases and more schools revert to virtual-only learning as a precautionary measure.

Phoenix Union High School District last week announced plans to formally end the fall sports season and delay the start of winter sports because of a rise in coronavirus cases in the state.

A total of 70 Maricopa County schools have reported COVID-19 outbreaks, with 54 of those still active. A total of 334 cases have been reported from those outbreaks.

The rolling seven-day average for the state health department’s newly reported cases was 2,459 for Monday, according to tracking by The Associated Press. That’s 85% higher than the Nov. 1 mark of 1,330 and the highest average since July 31.

Arizona reported 2,984 new coronavirus cases and 10 deaths on Tuesday, putting the state’s totals at 279,896 COVID-19 infections and 6,312 fatalities.

“The No. 1 thing we need to do to keep schools open is to bring down the risk of COVID,” Hoffman said.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

An elderly woman with with white hair and a cane walks alongside a woman with blond hair in the hal...

Kevin Stone

West Valley assisted-living facility settles lawsuit over secrecy practices

A West Valley assisted-living facility has settled a lawsuit over secrecy clauses in its arbitration agreements, officials announced Tuesday.

6 hours ago

handcuffs seen in man's hands...

KTAR.com

3 suspects linked to South American organized crime groups indicted in Maricopa County

Three suspects connected with South American crime groups were indicted Tuesday in Maricopa County after allegedly attempting to break into a Phoenix home earlier this month.

8 hours ago

Phoenix officers shot and injured a man who shot at them first on Feb. 13, 2024. (Phoenix Police Sc...

KTAR.com

Phoenix Police release video of suspect who held woman at gunpoint, shot at officers

The Phoenix Police Department released body camera video on Tuesday of a suspect who shot at officers responding to a call of a man holding a woman at gunpoint.

9 hours ago

Traffic was restricted on 7th Avenue in Phoenix on Feb. 27, 2024, due to a fatal crash. (Pexels Pho...

KTAR.com

86-year-old woman dead after 3-car crash in Phoenix

An 86-year-old woman died following a three-car crash in Phoenix on Tuesday, authorities said.

10 hours ago

Promotional image of rapper 21 Savage...

Kevin Stone

Rapper 21 Savage coming to Phoenix this spring on his ‘American Dream Tour’

Grammy Award-winning rap star 21 Savage is bringing his distinctive flow to Talking Stick Resort Amphitheatre in Phoenix this spring.

12 hours ago

Mugshot of Raad Almansoori, who was indicted by an Arizona grand jury on eight felony charges...

Kevin Stone

Violent crime suspect wanted for NYC murder indicted on 8 felony charges in Arizona

Violent crime suspect Raad Noah Almansoori was officially charged with eight felony offenses in Maricopa County, officials announced Tuesday.

13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

...

Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

Arizona schools chief Hoffman wants winter sports paused to slow COVID-19