ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — As coronavirus cases surge throughout Maryland, Anne Arundel County Public Schools is suspending all in-person athletics practices and extracurricular activities.

The halt is effective immediately, Superintendent George Arlotto said Monday.

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They cited the COVID-19 incidence rate in the county, which measures the average number of new cases per 100,000 county residents over a seven-day period. It rose to 21.3 as of Sunday.

This brings the end to in-person offseason fall athletics practices. Offseason spring sports practices, set to begin November 16, will now start virtually.

All other in-person extracurricular activities are also suspended until further notice, though virtual gatherings for both athletics and extracurricular activities can continue as scheduled.

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The county school system will evaluate the start date of the competitive winter sports athletic season- which was set to start December 7. They said they will further evaluate in the coming weeks.

“The last thing I want to do is curtail in-person opportunities for our students, but the case rate numbers grow more concerning by the day,” Dr. Arlotto said. “I have said since the beginning of this pandemic that our school system is not going to be the reason that people get sick or spread this virus. The prudent thing to do now is to curtail in-person activities until the case rate returns to a level that we can resume them.”

County high school principals have told families of nine positive tests that have required various program participants at eight schools to quarantine and halted programs since October 24, the school system said.

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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

CBS Baltimore Staff