The Halifax County School Board meeting schedule for Thursday of last week was postponed for two weeks due to a COVID-19 outbreak at central office where four employees had tested positive to the virus. At that meeting the board was supposed to hear a presentation on the return to sports plan from several people and it was thought that a start date for the student athletes would be determined at that time. But things happen and we now have to wait at least another two weeks before a decision is made.

That means that the student athletes and coaches at Halifax County High School will continue to do what they have been doing since March, wait. Wait and see what is going to happen with the future of high school sports in the 2020-2021 school year. The recent outbreak at central office has some on edge about the health and safety of those student athletes possibly returning soon after the school board voted to allow them back at their last meeting.

Those concerns are very real and should be taken seriously. That isn’t up for debate. But I know that everyone involved will make the best decision for the student athletes’ health and safety as well as their desire to get back and play their respective sports.

I don’t envy any person that is involved with these decisions. Not one bit. There is no right answer. There is no decision that can be made to appease everyone. There will be plenty of people upset with whatever decision is made. I know that the students and coaches are ready to get back on the court and on the field. I know that because I have talked to so many of them since March about one thing or another, and we always say how we look forward to seeing each other out there in the future instead of on the phone or an interview somewhere else.

But the health and safety of everyone involved comes first and is paramount in the decision-making when it comes to this subject. While it has already been voted on for the students to return to the extracurricular activities, we are waiting on that date for them to officially start and when COVID-19 is the reason that is delayed, it makes everyone think about what is next.

I am hoping this outbreak is contained soon and that all those affected make a quick and full recovery. That is the main thing we are all hoping for. We don’t want COVID-19 ravaging through our county and we don’t want anyone to get sick or worse.

There is no need to point fingers about who or what is responsible because as we know this virus doesn’t pick and choose who it infects, and so many people are asymptomatic and don’t know that they are carrying the virus. The main things we need to do is follow all of the guidelines set forth and hope that we can get these numbers down soon.

While sports obviously comes second to COVID-19, we are still hoping that they are able to play this year, not for our entertainment, but so those kids can go out and play the games they love and to be a part of that team again. So many of these student athletes have been apart for seven months and they want to be back together.

While we await an official start date, I hope that everyone in Halifax, and around the world, continues to stay safe and that everyone that has contracted the virus makes a full and speedy recovery.

Until next time.

Johnathan Kirland is a sports writer for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him jkirkland@gazettevirginian.com. Follow him on Twitter @JohnathanK_GV