BAR HARBOR — As in-person learning returns to Mount Desert Island High School, so too have winter sports.
Athletic activities have resumed at MDI following a two-week hiatus corresponding with AOS 91’s transition to in-person learning. The school held tryouts for winter sports early in the week with teams set to compete in their first competitions as early as this Friday, Jan. 22.
The decision, which was announced last Wednesday, cleared the way for MDI to resume extracurricular activities this Monday. The resumption came one day before the return to in-person learning as classes were not held Monday due to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
AOS 91 Superintendent Marc Gousse informed the school community of the decision in a district-wide email. Gousse noted that the area’s COVID-19 case incidence, which increased following the holiday season, had stabilized in the weeks following winter break.
“Although our communities/region experienced a significant increase in positive cases of COVID-19 following the holiday break, as of today, MDI Hospital reports a leveling of positive cases of COVID-19 locally at this time,” Gousse wrote. “Results of MDIRSS AOS 91 asymptomatic sentinel testing of staff indicate no positive results of COVID-19 for the past two weeks.”
MDI began winter sports Dec. 14, three weeks after the Maine Principals’ Association gave tentative approval for the season to be held in a modified format in 2020-21. Teams held practices for the remainder of the calendar year, including limited sessions over winter break, before the switch to remote learning was announced Jan. 2.
Athletic events at MDI are dependent on Hancock County retaining its “green” status in the Maine Department of Education’s color-code guidelines, which are updated every other week. With the exception of Androscoggin, Cumberland, Oxford and York were issued green designations in Friday’s update to the guidelines.
MDI plans to offer basketball, cheer, swimming and indoor track in the winter session. Should wrestling be approved, the sport could hold competitions beginning Feb. 22.