ALBANY, Ga. — The Dougherty County School System (DCSS) is temporarily suspending fall sports through September due to concerns associated with the Coronavirus pandemic. The move applies to Football, Softball and Cross Country.
“We are eager to begin on-campus learning, as well as to give our students the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities such as GHSA-sanctioned sports; however, based on the current data for Dougherty County, moving forward with fall sports as previously planned just isn’t sensible,” said Kenneth Dyer, DCSS Superintendent. “We are optimistic that if the numbers in Dougherty County continue to improve, we’ll eventually be able to get to the point of having face-to-face instruction and restarting athletics competitions. If not, however, we’ve already started to look at options for moving our fall sports to the spring.”
Although there have been no COVID-19 cases associated with DCSS Athletics, the move comes as athletics programs across the country struggle to cope with student-athletes and coaches who are contracting the COVID-19 virus. In Dougherty County, the spread of COVID-19 remains at unacceptably high levels, currently averaging more than 15 new cases per day, according to Harvard’s Global Health Institute and the Georgia Department of Public Health.
The action taken suspends fall sports competitions through at least the month of September. DCSS officials will assess conditions again prior to the end of September to determine if it is feasible to move forward with an October start to the DCSS fall sports schedule. Superintendent Dyer is optimistic that if everyone displays a collective commitment to flatten the curve and slow the spread of COVID-19 in the Albany/Dougherty community we can safely resume in-person instruction and activities.
“I’d like to encourage everyone to mask up, exercise physical distancing and wash/sanitize their hands frequently so that we can, sooner rather than later, recommence learning the way we all believe is best, face-to-face, and offer a wide array of extracurricular activities to our students” Dyer said.