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MHSAA “monitoring” coronavirus, not ready to take additional precautions

With the SEC and other collegiate conferences suspending play of future athletic events, the Mississippi High Activities Association (MHSAA) is moving forward without doing so at this time.

The MHSAA put out a statement on Thursday afternoon, saying they are “closely monitoring” the COVID-19 situation and the safety of student-athletes within the state will be their primary concern. However, at this time, schools will be continuing play as normal.

“MHSAA is working closely with our MHSAA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee, the Mississippi Department of Public Health, the Mississippi Department of Education and the National Federation of High Schools Sports Medicine Advisory Committee,” the organization said in a statement. “We are staying in constant contact with state and federal officials who continue to monitor this situation and provide us with updates.”

Despite not suspending play at this time, the organization says they are putting contingency plans in place if statewide school cancellations occur, thus forcing the MHSAA’s hand. Individual schools and athletic directors have the right to postpone or cancel any games or events at their own discretion.

During a Thursday morning press conference, the Mississippi Department of Health recommended that all gatherings of 250 people or more – including school sporting events – be postponed or played without fans in attendance.

Athletic directors at both Lafayette and Oxford were contacted for comment, however they will be deferring to decisions made by the school districts themselves, at this time.

“The MHSAA will initiate staged levels of response, so possible restrictions may be put in place as the need arises based on input from our sports medicine advisory committee,” the organization’s statement continued to read.”  Precautions may include restricting fan attendance, postponing or cancelling contests with out-of-state schools or, if necessary, no competition at all.”

Both Oxford and Lafayette School Districts were expected to meet in coming days to make decisions for the foreseeable future.