WAYLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — Wayland Union Schools has joined the group of districts adjusting athletic schedules due to concerns about a recent outbreak of mosquito-borne Eastern Equine Encephalitis.
The virus has infected nine people in southwestern Michigan counties and killed three of them. As a result, county and state health officials advised organizations to reschedule outdoor events so they would be finished by dusk, when mosquitoes may be more active.
When a case of EEE was found in deer in Kent County, Wayland decided to move its events. All athletic games will now start at 5 p.m. unless the game was already scheduled for earlier.
The district also released this schedule for homecoming week:
- Powder Puff bonfire on Oct. 2 is canceled, but there is donuts and cider inside after the game.
- The Homecoming Parade on Oct. 4 is canceled.
- Homecoming football game will kick off at 5 p.m.
- Crowning ceremonies will happen at halftime after the band performance.
Other schools, including in Kalamazoo and Kent counties, have already shifted sports schedules so they wrap up earlier.
Aerial spraying to kill mosquitoes in the affected southwestern counties is scheduled to start Monday night.
Health officials reminded people to use insect repellents on skin and clothing, and to wear long-sleeved shirts and pants when outdoors at dusk and dawn. For more information on EEE and prevention, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.