The department is keeping an eye on COVID-19 statistics and, while it has not yet pushed its restart date back, the option looks realistic.
The Plant City Parks and Recreation Department’s goal is to get kids back on the field by Aug. 17. Though it’s still set on that date, the department has acknowledged that may not be the case for much longer if trends don’t improve.
The department released a statement July 18 saying it’s still scheduling full use of its athletic fields for team conditioning and has not changed its decision to allow competition starting Aug. 17. Department director Jack Holland said PCPRD is closely monitoring the situation and reviewing reports from the Florida Department of Health, the Hillsborough County Department of Health, the University of South Florida Department of Medicine, the Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group, and other Parks and Recreation departments around the region.
What Holland and his staff have seen, however, is not great. He said the testing positivity percentage rate “continues to be at an unacceptable level” and that the department won’t be able to meet its goal of opening up or competition on Aug. 17 if the rate doesn’t decrease soon.
“We have already seen several local tackle football organizations push back the start of their seasons into September,” Holland said. “We are already seeing many local school districts pushing back the scheduled start of school. FHSAA is considering a delay for fall high school sports. We are seeing many collegiate conferences canceling fall athletics or pushing them to the spring. Even at the professional level where money is no object, games have been canceled due to COVID-19 cases and no fans are being allowed anywhere near the players in order to protect both the players and the spectators.”
Holland asked residents to “continue to stress social distancing, vigorous frequent hand washing, hand sanitizer and wearing face coverings when social distancing is not possible.”