With Hopkins County considered a “red” county for the past week, local high school athletics — outside of soccer district play — was paused. KHSAA sanctioned postseason events — such as soccer — were approved to go on as scheduled.

A red classification means there are 25 or more COVID-19 cases daily per 100,000 people in the county. The seven-day incidence is calculated by taking the total number of unique cases in each county over the past seven days, divided by seven to get a daily average, divided by the U.S. census bureau county population, and multiplied by 100,000 to get the incidence per 100,000 people.

As of Thursday afternoon, Hopkins County was still considered red at 35.2 average cases daily based on the above formula.

Hopkins County reported 27 new coronavirus cases Thursday, and one death. According to Hopkins County Health Department Director Denise Beach, the fatality was a senior adult and brings the county total of COVID-related deaths to 40.

A week ago, the Hopkins County School District followed state guidelines and halted high school athletics for its two schools, which pulled the plug on regular season games and practices over the weekend.

The North girls golf team — which was competing in the KHSAA State Tournament in Bowling Green — joined soccer as being able to continue as planned.

However, as the week progressed, both North and Central were given approval by the Hopkins County School Board to resume regular season athletics.

“The KHSAA authorized local districts to decide whether or not to participate in athletics when a county is red,” said Assistant Supt.Marty Cline. “We gave the schools permission to resume, but with the understanding that we have to follow guidelines by the CDC and KHSAA such as reducing capacity at our facilities to 20%, maintain social distancing, have spectators wear masks, etc.”

Cline also said that the parents of the student-athletes have the right to pull their child from the roster if they do not feel comfortable participating.

Following the board’s decision to resume athletics, athletic directors Brian Bivens at North and Kent Akin at Central tried to fill out schedules for their teams still in regular season such as football and volleyball.

“I’m just going off of what the board tells me,” Bivens said. “They told me that we can play, and I relayed that to our coaches.”

Originally, both schools canceled their football games for tonight, but North was able to get Calloway County back on board to come to Madisonville for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.

Late Wednesday afternoon, Central penciled in Knox Central to travel to Mortons Gap, but the game was ultimately canceled on Thursday due to travel concerns for Knox Central.

“We’re going to be limited to 20% capacity on Friday,” Bivens said. “We’ve collected lists for players, cheerleaders, band members and the homecoming court for their families to have reserved seating, and we’re only going to be selling 150 general admission tickets. We’ve learned a lot since hosting our first game (Sept. 11 vs. Christian County), and we’ve improved from there.”

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