McALLEN — McAllen ISD became the latest in a string of school district throughout the Rio Grande Valley that announced Tuesday afternoon that they were either cancelling, suspending or further postponing all summer strength and conditioning workouts for all sports in the midst of mounting concerns over the growing spread of COVID-19 throughout the region.
“Out of an abundance of caution, our district will be cancelling our summer strength and conditioning program along with all athletic and fine arts programs until further notice,” McAllen ISD tweeted in a statement. “However, the District will continue its Virtual Training. McAllen ISD is one of the few Districts in the country that provides digital tools and training to all students and staff. This provides real, viable Distance Learning that is second to none.”
McAllen ISD joins a lengthy list of districts that includes Brownsville CISD, Edinburg CISD, PSJA ISD and Weslaco ISD, among many others citing both the area’s increasing number active of active coronavirus cases as well as a precautionary measure while districts across the RGV attempt to identify the best path forward.
“At this time, McAllen Memorial High School is suspending our Summer Strength and Conditioning programs until further notice. We are extremely proud of the work dedication you have put forth in this short time, and seeing your face has brought the athletic staff at Memorial High School so much joy,” wrote McAllen Memorial athletic coordinator and head football coach Bill Littleton in a statement addressing Mustang student athletes.
“Your well-being and safety are our main priority, and out of an abundance of caution we, McAllen ISD, are taking measures to continue to follow all Hidalgo County ordinances if you are not at home. We will keep you informed and updated throughout our various forms of social media, as well as our athletic staff. Your cooperation and understanding is greatly appreciated during this time.”
Sharyland ISD and Rio Hondo ISD also announced the postponement of their summer strength and conditioning workouts due to the growing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the RGV.
“Sharyland ISD will be postponing its’ strength and conditioning program until further notice. This decision was made out of abundance of caution,” said Dr. Maria M. Vidaurri, Sharyland ISD Superintendent of Schools, in a statement. “We will monitor this evolving situation and continue to act in the best interest of our students and staff. At Sharyland ISD, the health and safety of our students and staff remain our first priority.
The McAllen, Sharyland and Rio Hondo school districts join PSJA, Weslaco, San Benito and Brownsville in stopping their workouts. Edinburg CISD was set to begin summer strength and conditioning workouts next week, but they have also postponed the start of their workouts.
According to a statement on the Weslaco ISD website, “students have tested positive for COVID-19. The students who contracted the virus were not experiencing any symptoms. We believe the illness was not contracted on school grounds.”
The district continued to state that individuals who may have come in contact with those who were infected have already been notified.
“Out of abundance of caution and for the safety and well being of others, the Weslaco ISD strength and conditioning program has been canceled until further notice.”
The school district also announced that ticket sales for the upcoming football season have been postponed.
The Edinburg school district has also delayed its program, which wasn’t scheduled to start until June 22. However, that program also is postponed until further notice.
Edinburg CISD Superintendent Gilbert Garza said the district it looking at options to begin the program in July, but added they cannot say definitely and “things could change by tomorrow,” he said.
“Out of the safety of our students we have decided to suspend the conditioning program until further notice,” Garza said. “The deciding factor had nothing to do with testing or the students in the school district but mainly because of the county’s numbers spiking with more and more cases.”
The PSJA school district has suspended its training, as well, and is holding a meeting at 1 p.m. today to discuss its plans regarding the situation.
Brownsville ISD also suspended its strength program after an athlete tested positive for COVID-19. The school district stated that it would monitor events for two weeks and determine whether or not to resume the summer program.
Check back throughout the day for more details.