Kalamazoo schools to continue spring sports despite rising infections

The governor requested a two week pause on athletics. Kalamazoo and Portage schools said "no."

Spring sports will go on as planned at high schools in Kalamazoo and Portage. That’s even after Governor Gretchen Whitmer pleaded with schools to take a two week pause on athletic activities amid a COVID-19 surge.

On Friday, the governor held a press conference in which she asked schools to take a two-week pause on in-person classes and sports in order to give the state a chance to bring COVID-19 numbers down. Michigan has become the number one state in the nation for new infections and hospitalizations are on track to break records set last fall.

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Representatives from Portage Public Schools told MLive that leaders “carefully considered” Whitmer’s request before deciding to carry on with activities as normal.

“We have chosen to continue with in-person instruction for those who chose it, and allow athletic games and practices following the strict protocols we already have in place,” read a statement from the district.

Kalamazoo Public Schools, which plans to continue remote classes through the end of the school year, also declined to put a hold on spring athletics.

“Since participation in athletics is voluntary, KPS encourages families to consider individual circumstances when making the decision to allow a student to participate in athletics,” they said in a statement.

A rising number of coronavirus outbreaks in recent weeks has been tied to extracurricular activities.

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