Broward Superintendent Robert Runcie tours Cooper City after two programs cancel practices due to COVID-19

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Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie toured Cooper City High School on Wednesday to observe the Cowboys during their first week of fall practice.

Runcie’s tour comes after two Broward County schools had to suspend practices for two programs due to two students testing positive for COVID-19.

Cypress Bay High canceled its cheerleading practices, and Western High canceled its junior varsity football practices due to students testing positive for COVID-19.

“There was a case with a student on the J.V. team; we suspended that," Runcie said. "We also had a case with a cheerleader at Cypress Bay High School, so we suspended that program, as well. Those are the two programs we’ve suspended. We’ll evaluate those this week, go through the necessary protocols and we’ll make a determination and consult in consultation with our medical experts and everyone to figure out when we can restart those programs up again.”

Runcie said that district students and staff members would have to quarantine if they tested positive and would need to test negative before being allowed back to school.

“When we do find confirmed cases, the athletic coaches, directors, they contact the school administration,” Runcie said. “That school administration contacts the district. We have an Office of Coordinated Student Health Services that works with the Broward County Department of Public Health. They help us to do testing and contact tracing. Anyone that’s tested positive —they will need to quarantine, they will need to provide at least one negative test before they’re able to return back to the district.”

Runcie said Broward County winter sports would be delayed, with practices starting on Oct. 26, but said that the district would still participate in the FHSAA state series. Spring sports are scheduled to start on time.

Broward County district football teams are scheduled to begin playing the last week of October. Some private schools, including American Heritage, Cardinal Gibbons and Chaminade-Madonna, have already started their football seasons.

Broward County public-school fall-sports teams have opted out of the Florida High School Athletic Association’s state series, meaning they will not compete for state titles this year.

Runcie said Broward County fall-sports teams would participate in a tri-county postseason tournament with teams from Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties.

“We have some of the best high school athletes in the nation, and I believe that all of the folks and the collegiate scouts that are interested in recruiting good athletes, they’re going to come to our competitions," Runcie said. "So we want to make sure that that opportunity is available for our students, as well.”

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