Big schools first day of practice (copy)

Midway football players go through drills during the first day of preseason practice in August of 2019. Midway ISD announced on Wednesday that it has canceled the rest of this week’s summer strength and conditioning programs in order to deep clean its facilities.

Both the Waco ISD and Midway ISD athletic departments have suspended summer strength and conditioning activities due to caution related to COVID-19.

In a letter to parents and staff posted on Wednesday, Midway athletic director Brad Shelton revealed that a student-athlete participating in the school’s summer program tested positive for COVID-19. In response, the school sent an email on Tuesday evening telling parents and students that all athletics activities would be canceled for the rest of this week for a deep cleaning of the facilities.

Shelton said in an interview on Wednesday afternoon that the cancellation was due to the need to inform parents of the situation. Midway is planning to resume strength and conditioning on Monday with its established UIL-mandated guidelines in place.

“The most important thing is parents deserve the right to make an informed decision,” Shelton said. “I hope the kids come back on Monday. We’ve given the parents an opportunity to get the info and make an informed decision.”

The Midway student, whose identity was not revealed in the letter, participated in athletics in a small group setting on Monday morning, then developed symptoms later that day. The students and coaches in that small group have been notified and will take a two-week hiatus from strength and conditioning as recommended by the UIL in its current strength and conditioning guidelines.

In the letter, Shelton included seven bullet-point items for students’ and parents’ safety during the current COVID-19 outbreak, which ranged from wearing masks to following CDC guidelines if symptoms develop.

Similarly, Waco ISD suspended its strength and conditioning program for the rest of this week on Wednesday.

Waco ISD athletic director Ed Love said he will make a decision on Friday about when to return.

“We need to see a break in the numbers before we continue,” Love said.

Love said that, while social distancing practices are observed in workouts, it’s not possible to monitor student-athletes around the clock, so canceling strength and conditioning serves as a safeguard.

“It’s mainly out of caution because of the numbers,” Love said. “I’ve been to both campuses and we’re doing a great job of social distancing at both schools. We have the kids wearing masks and have even given some of them cloth masks to take home that don’t tear up as easy.”

Love said he is cautious of the coming July 4th holiday as a time when gatherings take place and could possibly suspend activities until mid-July.

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Photos: High school football around Waco gets underway with workouts amid COVID-19

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