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More Maine Schools Allowed To Resume Winter Sports

Schools in counties designated “yellow” under the state’s COVID-19 risk assessment system will be allowed to resume winter athletics — but not every district may choose to do so.

On Wednesday, the Maine Principals’ Association released a memo saying that the color-coding system will no longer apply to athletics. That means districts in counties designated “yellow” can now determine whether they want to resume practices or games.

Maine School Management Association Executive Director Steve Bailey says that he expects school officials will likely work together regionally and look at health statistics to determine whether athletics are even feasible.

“I don’t believe it’s going to be a turn the switch and everybody starts to play type of situation,” he says.

York, Androscoggin, Cumberland and Oxford counties have all been designated “yellow” by the state. Several schools in those counties have already said they plan to resume practices by the end of the week.

Rich Buzzell, the athletic administrator at Marshwood High School in York County, says his school is now experiencing an “open outbreak” due to recent cases, so he plans to stick with practices only for the time being. But he says resuming any athletic activities will mean a lot for students’ mental health.

“We’re ready to go, and we’re ready to put our best foot forward and create a different environment for kids that’s going to be safe. And hopefully get some social-emotional normalcy back into their lives,” he says.

Buzzell expects to resume practices next week, while other schools are resuming athletics Thursday or Friday.