Members of the Penobscot Valley High School softball team celebrate their Class D sotball state championship victory over Greenville in 2019. Credit: Pete Warner | BDN

As of 12 p.m. Wednesday, March 11, test results show that no Mainers have tested positive so far for the coronavirus.

The Maine Principals’ Association will be closely monitoring the situation involving the coronavirus and how it may impact the spring sports season.

More and more activities have been cancelled including the entire New England Small College Athletic Conference spring sports season, which includes Colby, Bates and Bowdoin, and the upcoming season-ending unified basketball festivals.

The MPA and the Special Olympics are co-partners in unified basketball and Special Olympics Maine has suspended all athletics contests and activities through at least March 31.

“It made sense [to cancel the unified festival],” said Mike Burnham, the executive director of the MPA interscholastic division.

Burnham said the MPA is putting together its schedule of events for March, April and May and working closely with the school superintendents, the Department of Education and the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention to see whether they need to make changes to the schedule.

“It will be addressed as we get closer to the season,” Burnham said.

Pitchers and catchers in baseball and softball can start working out on March 23 and the first official practice for those sports, along with lacrosse, tennis and track and field, is March 30.

Athletic administrators around the state have been addressing the coronavirus issue with their administrations.

“We’ve all been given guidelines and are taking precautions,” Brewer athletic administrator David Utterback said. “Luckily, for most of us right now, we’re in a lull period.”

Burnham said the New England Cheerleading Championships scheduled on March 21 at Worcester State University in Massachusetts have been cancelled. Several Maine teams had qualified and had intended to participate.

Burnham said he feels fortunate the MPA was able to complete its winter sports seasons and crown state champions. In Connecticut, the remainder of the high school winter sports seasons were canceled due to coronavirus concerns.

The basketball tournament season was still going on in Connecticut.

“A number of states are in the middle of their winter championships,” Burnham said.

In addition to sports, Burnham said the one-act play state competition scheduled March 20-21 in Falmouth has been cancelled and the National Honor Society Convention, slated for March 18 at the University of Maine in Orono, has been postponed.

“It’s wait and see right now,” Foxcroft Academy athletic director Tim Smith said. “We have been meeting with the administration to make plans so we’re prepared if it gets here. There are a lot of signs up reminding people to wash their hands over and over again.”

“We have to be proactive in order to be safe,” said Calais AD Randy Morrison, who would like to add disinfecting wipes to every classroom.

Foxcroft Academy in Dover-Foxcroft has boarding students from China, where the virus originated, but Smith said their Chinese students “have been here all year and haven’t traveled since the outbreak.”

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