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St. Clairsville Trying to Get Ahead of Possible Issues, Suspends Athletic Activities

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — Trying its best to get out ahead of possible COVID-19 issues in the peak of the vacation season, St. Clairsville Richland City Schools is suspending athletic conditioning and workouts for the next two weeks.

Superintendent Dr. Walt Skaggs announced the decision Wednesday afternoon. The suspension, which took effect immediately, is scheduled to end on July 8. At that point, Red Devils’ athletic teams and other extracurricular activities such as band can resume their summer preparations.

“We have a bunch of kids on vacation right now and more scheduled to be headed to places like Myrtle Beach or Florida in the coming days and weeks, so we thought it’s a good time to take a break,” Skaggs said.

According to Skaggs, many of the Red Devil teams were slated to be off in the coming two weeks anyway because of the Fourth of July holiday, so after talking to many of his coaches, he opted to expedite the plan.

“With most taking the week of the fourth off any way, we just added another week,” Skaggs said.

Skaggs pointed out that most medical professionals recommend a 14-day quarantine after leaving the state for a certain period of time, so that’s why he felt comfortable with the two-week stoppage of sports.

“We’re just taking every precaution we can,” Skaggs said. “It’s the kids and their families right to do whatever they want (in terms of taking vacation) and we thought we’ll basically give them two weeks to take those and get them out of the way. This was our decision totally.”

Skaggs also stressed that he’s not aware of any St. Clairsville student-athletes with a positive coronavirus test.

St. Clairsville is the third school district in Belmont County to cease its athletic workouts, which just resumed earlier this month. Shadyside and Bellaire shutdown after several of its students and/or recent graduates returned from a Senior Trip to Myrtle Beach, many of whom have since tested positive.

Union Local, meanwhile, announced on Wednesday its guideline that it’s going to ask its student-athletes who leave the state of Ohio for more than one day to quarantine from their sport for 14 days before resuming their workouts.

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