Friday would have been the first weekend of the 2020 Connecticut high school football season. But instead of games, we got another round of CIAC vs. the Connecticut Dept. of Health, a month-long debate over whether we can safely play football during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
As of early Monday afternoon, the CIAC and DPH remained deadlocked over what to do with the state’s most popular sport. The DPH says it cannot recommend playing football while the CIAC attempts to show it can be safely done.
Meanwhine, across the country in Utah, they were entering Week 5 of their high school football season.
So we decided to check in with Brenan Jackson, the director of football for the Utah High School Activities Association, to see why and how the state forged ahead with the sport despite the pandemic.
On Aug. 13, Utah became the first state to play football and is now one of almost 25 states that are conducting a fall 2020 season. Another seven, including Delaware and Michigan, are set to kick off in the coming weeks.
Jackson gives us insight into how Utah planned to hold football, what challenges it posed, and how it has largely overcome those challenges.
This is the first part of a GameTimeCT series of podcast interviews on football in the COVID-19 era.
The interview was conducted on Thursday, Sept. 10.
Utah’s COVID-19 numbers as of Sept. 14 were trending upward, with a reproduction rate (Rt) of 1.09 (with a rate of 1.0 or higher indicating a rapid spread) and a week’s average of 462 cases per day. There are currently 101 cases per 100,000 residents.