An already altered athletic, academic and music competition calendar will now get even shorter after UIL officials Thursday extended the suspension of its sanctioned activities.
May 4 will now be the earliest high school games and contests could resume after the UIL broadened the timeline of its suspension due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Previously, the UIL had tabbed March 29 as the timeline for activities to resume. Currently, all athletic, music and academic activities are suspended, including all practices.
In a statement, UIL Executive Director Charles Breithaupt said the UIL is working “diligently on contingency plans” to conduct state championships in activities that have so far been suspended.
“While the immediate future is unclear, we are committed to providing these much-desired activities to all students and will prepare for all outcomes, including extended school closures,” Breithaupt said.
Per UIL officials, member schools will receive “a reasonable acclimatization period” for rehearsals and practices to occur. However, the UIL did not provide specifics on the acclimation period at this time.
In addition, UIL officials said all decisions are subject to change and will be consistent with advice from local, state and federal officials.
The extension comes on the heels of actions taken at the local and state level to curb the spread of COVID-19, also known as the novel Coronavirus. On Thursday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered all bars and restaurants in the state to close temporarily until April 3, allowing only for take-out food only. That order also called for the closure of schools and gyms across the state until April 3 as well.
Locally, the cities of Kyle, Buda and San Marcos, as well as Hays County, have issued disaster declarations within the past week as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Kyle officials have banned gatherings of 10 or more people until April 5, while a similar measure in San Marcos is in effect until April 3. Hays County leaders are banning gatherings of 10 or more people until May 14.
Currently, five people in Hays County have tested positive for COVID-19. More than 10,000 people have contracted COVID-19 in the US so far, which has led to 150 deaths.