School sports put on pause in Waterloo Region due to COVID-19 Omicron variant

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The Waterloo Region District School Board has announced that all school games and practices in the area have been paused until next year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Effective immediately, based on the direction of Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang, Medical Officer of Health for the Region of Waterloo, all Waterloo County Secondary School Athletic Association (WCSSAA) sports are directed to pause all games and practices until January 3, 2022,” a statement from the WRDSB read.

Read more: COVID-19 Omicron variant suspected to have infected 9 Waterloo sports teams

The board went on to say that no decision has been made on whether any missed games will be rescheduled or not.

It said the move was made in an attempt to keep in-person learning at schools and to avoid class dismissals.

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A spokesperson for the Waterloo Catholic District School Board said the move also cancels all intramural sports.

On Monday, Wang said there were a total of 14 cases suspected among nine hockey and baseball teams from the area.

Wang said most of the nine teams involved kids aged five to 11, although at least one was over that age group.

She also said that since a large portion of the cases were connected to kids in the area, schools were also being affected.

Read more: Ontario reports 1,429 new COVID cases as test positivity hits 7-month high

“I will also be asking our schools and school boards to pause all sports and extracurricular activities for the rest of the year, in order to decrease the risk of class dismissals and school closures,” she said.

“Due to this quickly evolving situation, in addition to scaling up case and contact resources, public health will be focusing our direct contact efforts on higher-risk situations and settings, such as outbreaks in congregate care homes and schools.”

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