Winter sports are set to return this season for Dover schools. At least for now.

The Dover School Board voted unanimously Monday in a special meeting to move forward with interscholastic competition for varsity sports starting in mid-January, as long as COVID-19 health data improves, according to a release from the city, which added that sports schedules may also be modified depending on changes to interscholastic sports at the state level.

The school board was also provided with an update on COVID-19 and its impact throughout the Dover School District. Ultimately, the school board did not vote to modify the current re-entry program, stemming from its October 29 meeting, for students to resume in-person learning. That meeting saw the school board establish February 1 as the earliest re-entry date for students.

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Superintendent of Student Services Christine Boston provided the COVID-19 update and noted, based on the most recent district COVID-19 assessment metrics, the district has moved in some key categories from the "lowest risk" to the "high/critical risk" category, with others in the "medium/imminent risk" category, according to the release.

Per the release, there are currently five reported positive COVID-19 infections among staff members across the district's five public schools, as well as 38 staff members under quarantine as of Monday. The release clarified that quarantine can be due to multiple reasons, such as exposure to a person with a positive COVID-19 test or travel. The definition of staff includes teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators and others.

Boston, via the release, said the quarantine number was down from the mid-40s from last week and described “staffing as a bit strained” with the number of quarantines, she said.

“It really depends on the (staff’s) position,” Boston told the board.

Citing the latest district data, the release said there were no current in-person positive COVID-19 cases. As of Tuesday, 14 students were under quarantine.

Additionally, the school board voted unanimously to hold all meetings remotely until mid-January, when the board will revisit the decision. Their next regular meeting will be held remotely on Monday.

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