The novel coronavirus continues to force changes to the Section II high school football schedule, but on a county-wide scale — for some schools and not others.
On Thursday, Gloversville canceled its Saturday contest against South Glens Falls, Cobleskill-Richmondville is determining if it will host Schalmont on Friday and the Greater Amsterdam School District is all systems go for the Rams’ trip to face Ballston Spa on Friday night.
All of the decisions are not from positive results within the respective teams, but instead based on the individual counties that are trending above a 4% seven-day positivity rate, according to the state’s daily dashboard featuring the percentage of positive results by county — and its local department of health guidelines.
According to the New York State Sports and Recreation Guidelines update from Jan. 22, “high-risk” sports including football and volleyball, could have ‘. . . games, meets, matches or scrimmages requiring travel, if permitted by local health authorities.”
The local guidelines adopted by Fulton, Montgomery and Schoharie Counties in early February included criteria that if the county rate was above 4%, the sports do not have to be suspended, but amended — including not allowing out-of-county competitions.
On Thursday, Fulton County’s seven-day rolling average was 4.5%.
“Our county tells us that if it’s above 4 [percent], we have to play within county, and I know it’s probably going to even be higher tomorrow,” Gloversville athletic director Michael DeMagistris said. “We don’t think we can get below 4 [percent] before Saturday.”
The county’s seven-day rolling average also had repercussions to Broadalbin-Perth’s scheduled contest against Green Tech, but was assisted by DeMagistris to guarantee a game for the Patriots.
“There are only three schools in Fulton County, and Broadalbin hasn’t played since Week 1 versus us,” DeMagistris said. “We felt Johnstown and Broadalbin should probably play. That leaves us out this week.”
Another potential game alteration is Schalmont’s game at Cobleskill-Richmondville.
On Thursday, Schoharie County’s seven-day average was 4.5%.
According to Cobleskill-Richmondville athletic director John Henry, a determination on that game’s status will be made in the afternoon, including the potential of moving the game to the weekend or even Monday.
Meanwhile, Montgomery County’s seven-day rolling average of 4.6% will not change Amsterdam’s trip to face Ballston Spa.
Montgomery County had been one of the first counties to issue an inner-county competition guideline when the seven-day rolling average was above 4% for the winter sports season. That limited basketball contests for the majority of the winter season between Amsterdam, Canajoharie, Fonda-Fultonville and Fort Plain.
That is not the case for the Rams.
“We have taken a different approach at this time due to the ability to identify where cases are,” Sara Borenko, public health director for Montgomery County replied in an e-mail. “Currently the cases that make up this average are not as a result of school related exposure but are in a cluster confined to one facility.
“We do not at this time see any correlation between shutting sports down and this increase in cases. Montgomery County continues to assess the situation for schools and school related activity daily and with a number of factors and not just a percentage.”