, Newburyport, MA


August 27, 2013

No field restrictions due to EEE ... yet

As it stands now, local athletes will not be asked to vacate school property by 5 p.m. during this season due to town curfews.

None of the local towns’ health departments had imposed a curfew, as of last evening, due to the detection of the Eastern equine encephalitis virus last week near the Amesbury/Merrimac town line.

Last August, after the virus was detected in Georgetown, all local towns imposed the 5 p.m. curfew, forcing local athletic directors to reschedule weekday games from 3:45 to 3 p.m. Friday night football was also wiped from the schedule for much of the fall season until the first frost.

“We’re keeping our fingers crossed,” said Newburyport athletic director Bob Clarke. “I’m hoping we don’t have a ban, but I’m preparing as if we might. I think there is a health board meeting this week, so we’ll see what happens.”

Amesbury athletic director Glen Gearin remembers having to overhaul much of the fall schedule last year after the detection of the EEE virus during the preseason.

“If changes are required, we draw from the previous experience and rearrange as needed,” Gearin said. “Lately, it has become part of all athletic directors’ pre-planning when it comes to scheduling.”

The EEE virus, which can be fatal, is spread through mosquitoes. After the virus is detected locally, towns typically spray open fields where mosquitoes might reside in hopes of killing the insects.

West Nile virus has also been detected in Amesbury, Merrimac, Newburyport, Newbury and Rowley, though at this point there have not been any reported cases of West Nile or EEE in humans or animals locally.

Clarke was not willing to speculate as to whether this year’s schedule will be affected.

“That’s the million-dollar question,” Clarke said. “We went through it last year. Hopefully, it won’t happen. But the most important thing is protecting our student-athletes. We want them to be healthy first and foremost.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints

NDN Video
3 Questions with Gary Payton: Kevin Love, Andrew Wiggins and Derrick Rose Players Only: Marcus Mariota's Course Load at Oregon How We Almost Got Johnny Cowboy Donald Sterling Loses The Clippers For Good - @TheBuzzeronFox Franklin talks leaving Vandy Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX Michael Jordan OK With LeBron James Wearing No. 23? - @TheBuzzeronFox The Cornhuskers have gone...Loco? McNabb: Two games is not acceptable for me Ortiz, Price Feud Is Upsetting To Children - @TheBuzzeronFOX MLB Trade Deadline Talk: Price, Stanton, Kemp Tony Romo will be a full-go for camp Teammate's Advice For Johnny Manziel & Josh Gordon - @TheBuzzeronFox Helfrich praises Mariota's commitment to improve Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent First impressions of Giants' new up-tempo offense Athletic Gaines: Where LeSean McCoy, Kenjon Barner, and more prepare for NFL season Jack White's Cub Face How Emmanuel Mudiay Ended Up in China
Special Features