Portsmouth Public Schools cancels winter sports after reviewing COVID-19 health metrics

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PORTSMOUTH, Va. - COVID-19 is forcing student-athletes in Portsmouth to sit this season out.

After a thorough review of the city's health metrics, Portsmouth Public Schools representative confirmed to News 3 Wednesday that school administration has made the "difficult" decision to cancel all winter sports for the 2020-2021 season.

In December, the school district suspended all athletic practices and conditioning due to rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in Hampton Roads.

Last week, members of the Portsmouth School Board voted unanimously to keep students in an all-virtual setting until COVID-19 positivity rates drop dramatically. Schools were previously slated to return to in-person instruction on a phased reopening starting Tuesday, Feb. 2.

Tuesday, both Hampton City Public Schools and Newport News Public Schools announced they are also canceling high school winter sports to ensure the health and well-being of student-athletes. The decision comes amid the increasing COVID-19 cases and positivity rates on the Peninsula and the risks associated with increased contact through practices and competitions.

There are no further details on the Portsmouth decision.

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