Sacramento County health officials urge schools to cancel marching bands, some sports amid COVID-19

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The sound of trumpets and clarinets through city streets and across football fields may not be heard in the fall — or at least not as many.

Sacramento County health officials urged schools Tuesday to consider canceling marching bands and orchestras altogether amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“I know that for our students, not having a program would be devastating,” said Jeffrey Edom, co-band director at Laguna Creek High School.

Edom said last year 160 students played in the band and he would hate for them to miss out on that opportunity in the fall. 

“It’s not just about the activity or going to the football game or going to the competition, it’s the journey that it takes those students on and the personal growth they have by participating in those activities,” Edom told FOX40.

Other extracurriculars at risk of being suspended are sports like football, basketball and soccer.

Nancy Kong-Vasquez said her son, Jaydon, was looking forward to kicking the soccer ball again with his teammates at Inderkum High School for his sophomore year.

“I really found that the school pride played a big part in him enjoying high school soccer so much,” Kong-Vasquez said.

She worried that her son, like so many other student-athletes, would lose a valuable part of the high school experience if sports were no longer available.

“The stress is really going to be great for our kids and having sports is a perfect outlet for the kids to be able to let some of that steam out,” Kong-Vasquez said. “It just provides so many benefits.”

Kong-Vasquez said she understands the need to put the health of students, staff and families first but hopes the Friday night lights can still shine down on the field this fall with modifications and safety measures in place.

“I would just hate for high school sports to fall victim to COVID,” Kong-Vasquez said.

Some teachers and parents are also concerned that if these recommendations are followed, students will move out of Sacramento County to continue their athletic careers.

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