Senator Tom Killion (R-Chester and Delaware) today requested the Chester County Health Department, which also is overseeing the pandemic response in Delaware County, rescind its recommendation that school and youth sports not be played until 2021.
“Now six months into challenges posed by COVID-19, it is clear we are well past a point-of-crisis,” wrote Killion in his letter to Chester County Health Director Jeanne Casner. “By all metrics, our Commonwealth and Chester and Delaware counties have the virus in check.”
Citing available statistics, Killion noted a decline from the peak of the pandemic in new cases and hospitalization as a prime rationale for proceeding with school and youth sports.
“472 people are hospitalized across Pennsylvania, including 13 in Chester County and 14 in Delaware County, with COVID-19. The 472 hospitalizations statewide represent a more-than 80 percent decrease in hospitalizations from the peak of the pandemic in the spring,” wrote Killion.
Killion noted he has received hundreds of calls, emails and social media messages from parents frustrated with the cancellation of sports and the physical, emotional and social benefits children are missing.
“As the father of two adult daughters, both of whom played sports,” wrote Killion, “I concur with the assessment made by parents that the benefits of safely playing sports outweigh whatever risk that exists.”
Killion’s letter references the admission of PA Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine that she did not use state-specific data in formulated a similar recommendation. Additionally, reports from Bucks and Montgomery counties note that athlete-to-athlete transmission of COVID-19 has been rare to nonexistent.
The letter implored public health officials to permit kids to “enjoy a measure of normalcy” through school and youth sports.
“Let our children reap the physical, mental and emotional benefits of athletics,” wrote Killion. “Let our kids play.”
Contact: John Keleman