Spring sports will be on a complete hold in both Montgomery and Fulton counties through at least the next two weeks, as on Sunday the decision was made by Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery BOCES to close all schools through March 31 in an attempt to combat the spread of COVID-19.
In a release, HFM BOCES announced that the superintendents of its 15 component districts unanimously made the decision following a meeting with county officials and school district attorneys.
The districts in Montgomery and Fulton counties that are part of HFM BOCES include Amsterdam, Broadalbin-Perth, Canajoharie, Fonda-Fultonville, Fort Plain, Gloversville, Johnstown, Mayfield, Northville and Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville.
"Our local school superintendents are exercising an abundance of caution,” HFM District Superintendent David Ziskin said in the release. “We realize the [cancellation] of classes presents a hardship for our families but we must continue to take the spread of this virus seriously to ensure the safety of our children and our communities.”
Sunday, Montgomery County Executive Matthew Ossenfort declared a state of emergency in the county. Among the measures declared by Ossenfort was:
“Recommending the suspension of all classroom and extracurricular functions for 14 days, including extra-curricular activities, effective March 15. Schools may remain open to administration, staff, and staff functions. This order does not include private daycare facilities, Head Start or other daycare programs, unless there is a direct need based on school facility logistics.”
Friday, Section II made the decision to postpone all games and scrimmages involving member schools until April 19. Later that day, nearly all Fulton and Montgomery county schools opted to cancel practices until further notice, with only Fort Plain, Canajoharie and Johnstown teams still allowed to practice on Friday.
Amsterdam athletic director Nolan said in an email Sunday that the Section II executive committee would be meeting Tuesday or Wednesday to discuss further measures, with league presidents scheduled to meet after that.
Sunday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidelines recommending the cancellation of large gatherings of 50 or more people for the next eight weeks.