Homecoming dances in Brevard County are off as COVID-19 cases increase in community

Large field trips are also suspended

With COVID-19 cases and quarantines mounting in the second week of class for Brevard Public School students, the district announced Thursday that homecoming dances and large field trips would be suspended, and attendance at other events would be limited. (pixabay.com)

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – With COVID-19 cases and quarantines mounting in the second week of class for Brevard Public School students, the district announced Thursday that homecoming dances and large field trips would be suspended, and attendance at other events would be limited.

District officials and parents cheered this school year, anticipating a return to relative normalcy during the summer’s low case counts. But record cases within the district have pushed administrators to tighten certain restrictions.

Traditional homecoming dances will be suspended indefinitely, the district said in a news release. Schools will be allowed to conduct alternative activities, and Homecoming Court elections and spirit weeks can proceed.

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“The leadership team at the district level have made this difficult decision, based on the increase in COVID cases in our community and our schools,” according to the news release.

Large group field trips (such as trips including an entire school or grade level) have been suspended through at least Sept. 30, although travel for athletic events will be permitted with the “proper approvals.”

Spectators for indoor sporting events will be limited to 50% capacity, and auditoriums will be limited to 50% capacity with “maximum social distancing protocols.”

As of the district’s Tuesday COVID-19 update, 1,077 students and staff had tested positive for COVID-19 since BPS began tallying numbers Aug. 2, and 4,592 have been required to quarantine.

Two football games have been canceled so far this school year. Both were preseason games scheduled for Friday.

A game between Viera and Satellite high schools was canceled Tuesday due to COVID-19 spread at Satellite High. The district’s biweekly COVID-19 update showed 182 Satellite High students and staff and 61 Viera High students and staff were quarantined from Friday to Monday.

On Wednesday, Astronaut High School’s game with St. Lucie West Centennial High School was canceled. Astronaut High had the highest number of COVID-19 quarantines in BPS according to the district’s Tuesday update, with 264 students and staff quarantined from Friday to Monday.

Twelve Brevard-area high schools are still scheduled to play preseason football games on Thursday and Friday.

Bailey Gallion is the education reporter for FLORIDA TODAY. Contact Gallion at bgallion@floridatoday.com or 321-242-3786.