Some Club Sports Continue Despite Social Distancing Restrictions

March 31, 2020, 5 p.m. ·


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While the entire state is under social distancing recommendations, and many areas are under legal restrictions on public gatherings, some club sports continue to practice. Allison Mollenkamp of NET News reports.

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Kim Johnson’s daughter is part of a cheer gym in Omaha. Last week, the gym let students know that the facility would reopen to allow students to practice.

Johnson told her daughter not to go. She worried about kids in close proximity, doing cheer stunts together and touching common surfaces. But not all parents at the gym made the same choice.

“The pressure then comes from other parents who think that your child should be in there practicing so they can stay as good as the other girls. And then there’s pressure from the teammates, why aren’t you here practicing with us, and you know that kind of thing. So it’s a little bit of peer pressure too.”

The gym claimed they’re keeping each room to 10 or fewer kids.

Dr. Anne O’Keefe is a senior epidemiologist with the Douglas County Health Department. She said that’s not enough.

“I think we need to use some common sense and remember that, you know, some of these things are not really essential meetings, and if you’ve got a group of people like this together, you’re increasing the chance of them spreading infections and for those people to take those infections home to their loved ones.”

The NSAA has cancelled all school based sporting events and practices through May 1st.

Matt Blomstedt, Nebraska’s Commissioner of Education, says club sports continuing is a bad thing.

“You begin to undermine the effects of closing schools but gathering up students in different groups. I mentioned it last night, but if you remember, our first case in the state of Nebraska was actually at a sporting event, not a school sporting event. And that causes quite a bit of pressure on local public health officials to try to track down all those different connections.”

In areas under a directed health measure, crowds or businesses not complying with the measure can be reported to the local police.

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