KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — All nine superintendents in Kalamazoo County announced Thursday they have agreed to reschedule outdoor activities to reduce the risk of exposure of Eastern Equine Encephalitis.
The districts are following a state recommendation after three people in southwest Michigan died of EEE, a rare mosquito-borne illness. Mosquitoes may be more active at dusk.
The nine districts, which are part of the Kalamazoo Regional Education Service Agency, include:
- Climax-Scotts Community Schools
- Comstock Public Schools
- Galesburg-Augusta Community Schools
- Gull Lake Community Schools
- Kalamazoo Public Schools
- Parchment Schools
- Portage Public Schools
- Schoolcraft Community Schools
- Vicksburg Community Schools
Each district will announce the specific time and date changes once the arrangements have been made, according to a press release sent on behalf of all nine superintendents.
Schoolcraft Community Schools says it it will continue outdoor activities during the school day but ensure all practices end by 7 p.m. The district said parents can also apply insect repellent to elementary school students who have recess before the start of classes.
Kalamazoo Public Schools made the following schedule adjustments for Thursday and Friday:
- Kalamazoo Central JV soccer game at Battle Creek Lakeview canceled; varsity game will begin at 5 p.m. Thursday
- Loy Norrix JV soccer game at Battle Creek Central canceled; varsity game at 5 p.m. Thursday
- Kalamazoo Central freshman football game moved to Loy Norrix; still starting at 4:30 p.m. Thursday
- Kalamazoo Central JV football vs. St. Joseph moved to 5 p.m. Thursday
- Loy Norrix vs. Kalamazoo Central varsity football game starts at 5 p.m. Friday at Loy Norrix
Time adjustments will continue until county health officials say the risk of mosquito bites has been greatly reduced or eliminated.
“Although sports and outdoor activities are an important part of a child’s education, nothing is more important than their health and safety,” the superintendents said in a statement.
Several Friday football games and other sporting events in southwestern Michigan schools had already been rescheduled.