Will high risk sports be allowed in Eau Claire County? Still no clear answer

Published: Aug. 14, 2020 at 7:50 AM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Friday morning on Hello Wisconsin, Eau Claire City County Health Department Director Lieske Giese, and ECASD Superintendent Michael Johnson, sat down with Tyler Mickelson to discuss the future of high risk sports in the county. Those sports include volleyball, soccer and football, and are scheduled to begin the second week of September.

The first question was directed at Lieske Giese asking if high risk sports can be played in Eau Claire County with the current health order in place. That health order requires six feet of distance when people are outside.

Giese answered in part, “We are working with schools, and coaches, and parents, to find creative ways for kids still to be active with some of these sports. I think we all realize that there are sports where six feet is a difficult challenge. The reason for that, and very simply the reason for that, is this disease spreads primarily by droplets that come through the air, and if you’re close by someone, you’re more likely to have those droplets land on you and for you to get sick. This is all about slowing down the chance that this happens. Some sports it’s more likely to happen, and that’s the challenge.”

With high risk sports in doubt, Superintendent Johnson was asked about the chance of moving fall sports to spring.

Johnson answered, “That conversation has happened often because there are many districts who are in that position and who have made that decision (to move to spring) as well.” Johnson later added, “What we did earlier this week is got word out to families that we’re hoping to make a decision this (Friday) evening. We’ve got a very big meeting with our conference Activities Directors, as well as our high school principals, and hopefully the WIAA can provide a little more guidance and some options for us when they have their meeting this morning.”

Where do COVID-19 numbers need to go to have the health order removed in Eau Claire County? Giese said, “Less than 50 cases for a two week period, 25 per week, is the goal for the state to move from high level of activity to moderate and low, and that’s what the WIAA guidance to date has been framed around.”

To hear the full interview, watch the video above.

Copyright 2020 WEAU. All rights reserved.

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