HOUSTON – The Houston Independent School District announced Friday that it’s reinstating all athletic and UIL activities effective Monday. The district canceled the activities amid increasing COVID-19 cases.
The district previously canceled all non-varsity and non-district events at the middle school, junior varsity and freshman levels, including tournaments early in January due to the rise of coronavirus cases. This also included middle school cross country, football, swim, and volleyball seasons and club sports.
HISD said it will continue to monitor the public health condition during the pandemic, noting that it will re-evaluate in the future as needed.
The first district statement came on Jan 12 when Harris County’s positivity rate was at 19.3%. The second statement from the district re-instating all athletic and UIL events came on Jan 22 when Harris County’s positivity rate was at 19.4%.
Some HISD student’s relatives showed some concern.
“The situation, the severity... I am very worried. I have lost a dear family member because of this,” said Oscar Rojas, a sibling of an HISD football player. Rojas said the district should only resume athletics if the district could maintain safe and strict protocol.
One HISD parent, though, said the move was perhaps a healthy one, especially for outside sports.
“The camaraderie and the teamsmanship is something that they actually need,” said Kevin Southerland, an HISD parent. “Because it’s been a very different... strange year, so getting back to some normalcy might be quite good.”