MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — Middletown High School has suspended all fall athletics and extracurricular activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a statement released by the Middletown City School District Thursday morning.
"We cannot lose focus on what is most important," Jackie Phillips, the Middletown health commissioner, said. "The focus should be on the safety of our children, educators, staff, and all the families involved as we move forward with the main objective of educating our youth."
This announcement comes after the school district said all schools would start the 2020-2021 year under remote learning guidelines and remain remote until further notice.
On Tuesday, the Ohio High School Athletic Association announced the suspension of all contact sports scrimmages.
Middletown City Schools Superintendent Marlon Styles Jr. didn't sayd when athletics could return within the district.
"Right now I won't make an assumption or prediction," Styles told WCPO. "I just know that we're seeing the peak of our community spread right now and that's going through the whole month of July. So until we take things seriously around the coronavirus and mitigate the community spread I don't think it's safe to entertain any type of return to play or return to school face-to-face instruction here in Middletown City Schools."
The next board of education meeting is scheduled for Aug. 10. The school year is scheduled to begin Aug. 17.
Middletown officials also said they know this is the right decision to make sure students come back to the classroom.
"If our families and friends want schools to open in the fall, we need to get serious and we need to mitigate the community spread," Styles said in a statement. "We need to social distance. We need to mask up. By suspending fall extracurricular activities, we are giving our students the best opportunity to get back to the classroom."