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Sports >  High school sports

High school sports still on hold in East Region after state relaxes restart metrics

Jan. 28, 2021 Updated Thu., Jan. 28, 2021 at 10:11 p.m.

Ferris volleyball defends against visiting Mt. Spokane on Sept. 18, 2018.  (Libby Kamrowski)
Ferris volleyball defends against visiting Mt. Spokane on Sept. 18, 2018. (Libby Kamrowski)

While some regions in the state can prepare for high school sports to start again next week, Spokane and the other counties in the East Region are still on hold – but could be getting closer.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday announced the state is relaxing the requirements that regions must meet all four COVID-19 metrics down to three of four in the “Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery” to move into Phase 2, which would allow for high school sports competitions.

That’s the good news.

The not-as-good news: The other change Inslee announced is that metrics data will be released every two weeks instead of each week, which means a longer wait time to see if the region can move up.

These changes remain in effect at least until the governor’s next update on Feb. 12. The next date for possible play to resume is Feb. 15.

Two regions – Puget Sound and West – qualified to move into Phase 2 with the most recent numbers and can begin practicing and holding competitions in fall sports with limited spectators as early as Monday.

According to Thursday’s data, the East Region qualifies in two of the four metrics: hospital admissions and ICU occupancy. When the two-phase Roadmap to Recovery was introduced two weeks ago, the East met three of four metrics, including positive case percentage.

The region, as with most around the state, has yet to meet the new case rate metric.

On Jan. 15, the Greater Spokane League released a staggered fall sports calendar in conjunction with the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association’s guidance for the resumption of high school sports. Volleyball and swim/dive were scheduled to start Feb. 8, which will now be delayed. Football has a tentative Feb. 15 start date.

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