Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam was set to speak on Thursday afternoon about possible tighter restrictions due to the rising numbers of COVID-19 in the state and country.
On Wednesday, Halifax County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Mark Lineburg told The Gazette-Virginian that he was waiting to hear what the governor said before making a decision on whether or not to reopen schools in the county. Halifax County has been operating on an all-distanced platform and all facilities at the schools have been closed since Nov. 17.
Thursday’s conference adds to the constant fluidity of what has been a roller coaster ride for the ages when it comes to determining when — and if — high school sports will begin at Halifax. But Halifax is not the only school in the state wondering its fate, as many school districts have either canceled or put their seasons on hold.
Halifax winter sports teams began conditioning in early November, only to have those workouts halted when schools were shut down on Nov. 17 due to a rapid rise of coronavirus numbers in the county.
In Mecklenburg County, Park View and Bluestone high schools will not participate in winter of fall sports, a decision made by their school board a month ago. Brunswick, Charlotte, Greensville, Lunenburg and Buckingham counties all opted not to participate in winter sports as well.
In total, there were 17 school divisions and 32 high schools that are not engaging in winter sports in Virginia as of Tuesday. Some of those numbers could change, or Northam could put a stop to it completely at his Thursday conference.
Several larger school divisions have also decided not to participate in winter sports such as Richmond, Harrisonburg, Henrico and Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools.
The Halifax County School Board has already voted to allow the student-athletes back, and the rest of the Piedmont District teams also have been back to practice or given the go-ahead to play winter sports. If that trend holds, that will be big for those teams, because most of the schedule the teams will play in winter sports will be district games. With only 60% of the schedule being played, it leaves little room for non-district games.
As Halifax County High School student-athletes and coaches await once again a potential make or break decision, the Dec. 21 start date looms.