Let’s do our part to keep fall sports on track

High school and university stadiums will be buzzing this weekend throughout Idaho now that our teams are back in action with fans in the stands.

We’ve all waited a long time for this, and the State Board of Education is supportive of fans and parents safely attending these events and cheering for their student-athletes and favorite teams.

However, the COVID-19 delta variant strain is spreading rapidly in communities across Idaho. As Board president I am asking that we all do our part to keep our stadiums, gyms and fields from becoming super-spreader venues that further endanger lives.

I believe we can do that by choosing to receive the vaccine and by wearing face masks while attending fall sporting events. The science shows that both make a difference.

We know that the Delta variant is more prevalent in certain parts of Idaho than in others.  We also know that because parents, fans and athletes are traveling throughout our state to attend and compete in games and matches, it is entirely possible that the variant could spread to more parts of Idaho because of these events.

We’ve all heard the news about how our hospital systems are overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients.  It is our duty as citizens to do everything in our power to keep fall sports from making the situation even more dire.

It’s hard to practice social distancing in a crowded stadium. If you aren’t vaccinated, please consider getting the shots and staying away from these events until you are fully vaccinated.  If you already have been vaccinated, please wear a mask and wash your hands regularly.

Our high school and college athletes have worked hard to prepare for these games and matches.  There’s nothing like the cheer of the crowd to make these events memorable for the participants. Please do your part and help us conduct them as safely as we can throughout the fall season so our student-athletes can compete in as normal a season as possible.

About Kurt Liebich

Kurt Liebich is the president of the State Board of Education. He also is the chairman and chief executive officer of Boise-based RedBuilt LLC and New Wood Resources LLC.

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