On March 8th I reported two stories about COVID-19 affecting Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) JV football teams:
- (Morning of March 8th) Parents report COVID-19 concerns pause JV Football at Glenelg High School in Howard County (Read Here)
- (Early afternoon of March 8th) Mt. Hebron High JV Football players in quarantine until March 21st due to COVID-19 exposure (Read Here)
The information for those stories came from members of the community and information (emails) shared by individual schools to players and parents. I reached out to numerous people to confirm the information and obtain additional information. Some of the people I attempted to contact include the staff at the schools affected, HCPSS staff (Superintendent, Coordinator of Athletics, and the Senior Communication Strategist) and the Board of Education Members. I have yet to hear back from anyone to the emails that I sent or phone calls I made on this topic.
On the evening of March 8th the Howard County Times reported:
- COVID protocols shut down 6 Howard football teams, including 3 varsity programs; numerous games postponed (Read Here)
Noted in that Howard County times article: “Howard County school system spokesperson Brian Bassett could not be reached for comment Monday afternoon.”
I have kept a close watch on the following public sources of information for the Howard County Public School System:
- Website News page: https://news.hcpss.org/
- HCPSS Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/HoCoSchools
- HCPSS Twitter page: https://twitter.com/HCPSS
While posts were made to the HCPSS social media accounts yesterday no information related to the COVID-19 cases affecting the football programs at the five schools (Atholton, Long Reach, Oakland Mills, Glenelg, and Mt. Hebron).
One has to ask why at this point. Why not provide some type of statement on what is happening? Here is what I would like to see soon:
- Any information that can be provided related to which schools the confirmed COVID-19 cases have happened
- What protocols are in place and what actions are being taken
- Does any of this affect more than the football programs (other sports programs or any classes in those schools)
- What happens with the schedules for those sports programs affected – will the games missed get moved to later in the season or cancelled
I believe it is critical for the school system to be as open and transparent as possible when this happens and the fact that we have not seen any statement is a bit concerning (to me).
I remain fully supportive of the sports programs within HCPSS. I can not image that anyone is surprised that some COVID-19 cases have happened. We have seen this happen with all major sports over the past year. More importantly (to me) is how is the school system handling the situations when they do happen.
Maybe today will be the day we get some information. I will check the sites noted above throughout the day today as I get time and watch my email in case I do get a response.