Start of school year up in air
By: James Clark -- Editor for the Southern Standard
The start of high school football and girls soccer seasons in Tennessee will be delayed – and the beginning of the new school year remains in question too – after Gov. Bill Lee extended his stay-at-home guidance on Monday.
The TSSAA responded in a letter to member schools on Tuesday that high school football and girls soccer seasons would be delayed. A date wasn’t provided as to when those seasons may start.
Gov. Lee’s Executive Order No. 50 extends the state of emergency due to COVID-19 to Aug. 29. It urges Tennesseans to stay at home and continue social distancing.
The order comes as Tennessee has 43,509 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday, according to the Tennessee Department of Health, which now includes 65 positive cases in Warren County.
The governor’s announcement comes less than a week after the Warren County Board of Education voted to resume school on Aug. 12 with students in classrooms. Director of Schools Grant Swallows said the impact of the governor’s announcement on reopening schools is not yet known.
“This has certainly created a firestorm for everybody,” said Swallows. “I don’t know if anyone anticipated the order would be extended. I understand why he did it because cases are rising, but it has certainly created more questions.”
In addition to academics, Swallows is a member of the TSSAA Board of Controls. TSSAA has a meeting scheduled for Wednesday.
Gov. Lee is expected to elaborate on his overall guidance in a press conference Wednesday.
The governor’s order urges – but does not require – Tennesseans to limit their activity outside the home. It also recommends wearing a face mask when in public.
The highlights of Executive Order No. 50 include the following guidance:
• Urge Tennesseans to continue limiting activity and staying home where possible, as well as following health guidelines and maintaining social distancing.
• Urge persons to wear a cloth face covering in places where in close proximity to others;