Unified School District of Antigo Winter Sports Season Update
FROM DR. PATRICK MCKENNA, MEDICAL ADVISOR FOR THE UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT OF ANTIGO
To Parents, Students, Community Members,
I am Patrick McKenna, Medical Advisor for the Unified School District of Antigo. am a family medicine doctor at the Aspirus Antigo Clinic. I am writing you today to provide an update regarding COVID-19 in our community, and our efforts in our schools, as well as plans for the winter sports season.
Currently, we face a number of ongoing challenges regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Local cases are rapidly increasing, and this has resulted in significant strain on our hospitals and clinics. For us, this is the worst the pandemic has been. And we don’t know if it is going to get worse before it gets better.
In this situation, we are still planning for the winter sports season. We take our guidance from the WIAA, the State Department of Health and Human Services, the Langlade County Health Department. Our priority is the health of our students and community. A second, but equal priority is the education of all our students. Sports and extra-curriculars are important, but they cannot be our primary concern.
The winter season presents a number of challenges. Many of our fall sports are done outdoors, where risk of COVID-19 is less. Some of the sports have less risk for close contact, like tennis, or cross country. We were able to provide face coverings on football helmets, for example, to minimize potential risk of spread during play and practice.
Our winter sports are not as straightforward. Basketball and wrestling, for example, provide particular challenges in terms of close contact, in an indoor setting, where the risk for transmission of virus increases.
To combat this, we must continue to wear masks, to socially distance/gather outside, and to stay home when sick or in close contact with someone with COVID-19. And we will continue to limit travel to within our own conference and limit attendance to games. The better we do this, the safer our loved ones, our students, our community will be. Preventing significant illness and disruption in the coming weeks and months will require us all to do our part.
Patrick McKenna, MD