NEW BEDFORD — New Bedford High School and Middle School athletics will be paused through the end of the week amid rising COVID-19 cases, the district announced Tuesday.


Superintendent Thomas Anderson said that due to an increase in positive coronavirus cases among several different athletic teams, all athletic practices and competitions through Jan. 7 are being put on hold.

School officials said they hope to restart athletics programs on Monday after they reevaluate the situation over the weekend.

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“In consultation with the New Bedford Department of Health, we have been advised to pause participation in our athletic programming including practices and games for one week, beginning today, and continue with test and stay over the next four days,” Anderson wrote in a memo to School Committee members today.

“As the number of positive cases continue to rise in our community, we are also experiencing an increased number of positive cases on our athletic teams," he continued.

"We now have several teams proactively participating in the Test and Stay Program due to an increasing number of positive cases over the past weekend."

“Out of an abundance of caution, we have put a pause on all Athletics at New Bedford Public Schools for the remainder of this week," New Bedford Schools' Athletic Director Thomas Tarpey stated.

"We will re-evaluate this weekend and hope to be up and running again on Monday.”

Jodi Spencer, Manager of Health Services at New Bedford Public Schools, noted, “the safety of all our students and staff is our foremost priority and this pause in activities will help to limit spreading infections."

She added that as the situation is "highly fluid," school staff will assess positivity rates every hour to determine the best course of action for district events and activities.

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