Wednesday, January 5, 2022

HDNL to Temporarily Ban Spectators as COVID Cases Surge

Posted By on Wed, Jan 5, 2022 at 4:51 PM

click to enlarge Fortuna High School Husky guard Teal Msotovoy whips the ball to teammate Kylee Fennell in a game earlier this year. - JOSE QUEZADA
  • Jose Quezada
  • Fortuna High School Husky guard Teal Msotovoy whips the ball to teammate Kylee Fennell in a game earlier this year.

The Humboldt-Del Norte League has voted to temporarily bar spectators from attending games amid a local surge in COVID-19 cases fueled by the highly contagious Omicron variant, Commissioner Jake Lakin announced Jan. 5.

“The number of positive tests being reported from local school districts and recent updates from Humboldt County Public Health (188 new COVID cases in the Jan. 4 press release) indicate this is likely the beginning of a surge,” Lakin wrote in an email announcing the temporary no-spectators mandate, which will be in place from Jan. 7 through Jan. 23. “Given this information, the league took this action in an attempt to slow down and possibly minimize the spread of COVID in both our school and local communities. Additionally, this decision was approved by a majority of the HDNL districts as an effort to preserve on-site in-person instruction for students as well as preserving the opportunity to compete for our student-athletes.”

The decision came after Humboldt County Public Health confirmed 674 COVID-19 cases over the course of six days while reporting the highly contagious Omicron variant had been determined to be circulating locally.

Lakin said the league will continue to monitor local data and conditions and re-evaluate the policy in the coming days and weeks. He added that most HDNL events can be viewed online and urged people to contact their local schools to get information on how to view remotely.

“The League understands the disappointment that comes with this announcement, but given the circumstances, it appreciates your understanding, patience and cooperation,” Lakin wrote.

Read the full email below.
Hi all. Please share with our communities in Humboldt and Del Norte Counties. Based on the recommendation of the Humboldt - Del Norte League (HDNL) Commissioner, the member Districts voted 6-4 to impose a temporary “no spectators” mandate for all HDNL  athletic events starting Friday, January 7 and running through Sunday, January 23. This will impact attendance at any scheduled Basketball and Wrestling events during that time period. The number of positive tests being reported from local school districts and recent updates from Humboldt County Public Health (188 new COVID cases in the Jan. 4 press release) indicate this is likely the beginning of a surge. Given this information, the League took this action in an attempt to slow down and possibly minimize the spread of COVID in both our school and local communities.  Additionally this decision was approved by a majority of the HDNL districts as an effort to preserve on-site in-person instruction for students as well as preserving the opportunity to compete for our student-athletes. As conditions change during this temporary period of “no spectators”, the League will continue to monitor local data and re-evaluate the “no spectators” requirement. Please know that most HDNL athletic events can be accessed online. Contact your local school to receive information regarding online viewing. The League understands the disappointment that comes with this announcement, but given the circumstances, it appreciates your understanding, patience and cooperation. Jack Lakin HDNL Commissioner
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Thadeus Greenson

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Thadeus Greenson is the news editor of the North Coast Journal.

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