Listening to rules

Halifax County High School varsity basketball head coach Sterling Williams talks with his players during the first conditioning in early November.

Monday was supposed to be the first day of practice and tryouts for winter sports for Halifax County High School.

That date will once again be delayed as it was announced on Wednesday afternoon the Halifax County Public Schools will be in a fully distanced format through Dec. 11.

The announcement was made because Halifax County remains in substantial community spread of COVID-19 cases. Halifax County added 266 cases of the coronavirus in the month of November due in large part to a substantial outbreak at South Boston Health and Rehabilitation where 204 staff and residents have tested positive for the virus and there have been 10 deaths at the facility.

The positivity rate for the Southside Health District, which encompasses Halifax, Mecklenburg and Brunswick County, is 6.9% compared to the 8% positivity rate for the state, which is the highest it has been since August.

In the release by the school system, it stated that no students will be allowed in the buildings except for students needing special education evaluations that will be done by appointment only.

There is no timetable for return, as the schools will reopen as soon as the health conditions improve. Going forward the school system will monitor the health conditions on a weekly basis.

For all student athletes and coaches involved in winter sports, and other sports that were set to begin conditioning, it is another setback in what has been a nine-month game of hurry up and wait. Since the pandemic began back in March, there has been multiple signs of things improving or going back to normal, but every time and a lot of time at the last minute, things never get off the ground.

As a COVID-19 vaccine is set to be rolled out in a matter of weeks, it may be spring or summer before everyone is given the opportunity to receive the vaccine, so until that time everyone is bound by the numbers and doing their part to limit the spread of the virus.

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