Creston athletics, along with academics, has been put on pause for the time being as the threat of the COVID-19 has expanded across Iowa over the last few days.
The decision came about half an hour after Iowa governor Kim Reynolds’ press conference Sunday night where she recommended all schools in the state of Iowa close for four weeks.
“Based on new information today from the Iowa Department of Public Health, now is the time to move to the next level of response,” Reynolds said. “I am now recommending that all Iowa schools close for a period of four weeks to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”
The infected number of Iowans is now up to 22 as of 11 p.m. Sunday, one of which under the age of 18, with no known infected in Union county.
Superintendent of Creston Community Schools Deron Stender said the focus right now is on the school, and the safety of its students and faculty.
He also added that the decision to follow Reynolds’ four week proposal could make the sports season nonexistent.
“Our focus is about care, whether it’s care for yourself and for others,” said Stender. “That’s the most important thing right now. ... Looking around the landscape, a lot of Hawkeye 10 school superintendents have been talking about this for a week. Right now, we’re just trying to follow the guidance of our governor. If that means we’re out for four weeks, that means there’s going to be no activities for four weeks, which ultimately means spring sports is going to be nonexistent.”
When asked if Stender foresees a spring sports season if the suspension goes four weeks or more, which was set to get going this week, Stender was short in his honest response.
“No. I don’t, because by the time people come back you’re going to need a two weeks window of training with everybody,” said Stender. “Right now we’re looking at April 13th as kind of the come back day. Pretty much by the end of May or April, you’re at the end of the season. I just don’t (see it happening).”
Stender said he’s not willing to go against Reynolds’ recommendations in regards to time, but added it could be subject to change with the chances of finding a cure or treatment.
“Right now, it’s undetermined and undefined what is going to happen with our sports or school activities,” said Stender.
Stender said he has not been in contact with Creston’s coaches, but has remained in contact with Hawkeye 10 superintendents.
“I’m sure the coaches will have a completely different perspective, but I hope everyone would have that some objective that care is our first priority,” said Stender.
Along with Creston, Murray, Lenox and Southwest Valley have cancelled school with a timetable of return at four weeks. Clarke, Osceola has also suspended all school activities.
East Union and Leon-based school Central Decatur are currently on spring break, and will evaluate their decision to postpone next week when more information unfolds.
Nodaway Valley will follow through with school Monday (today), but will be out of school for four weeks starting Tuesday.
Mount Ayr will also hold school Monday, with an announcement in relation to cancellation or postponement to come during school hours.
Editors note: This article may be subject to incorrect information as more details and information unfold with the matter.