LINCOLN — The Nebraska School Activities Association announced Wednesday that it had extended its suspension of practices and competition through Friday, May 1, because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“These suspensions may be extended should the conditions warrant,” the NSAA said in a statement posted on its website. “Member schools and student-participants are expected to adhere to the NSAA constitution and bylaws and activity manuals during this time.”

Despite Wednesday's announcement from the state association, Norfolk Public Schools will not compete in NSAA-sanctioned activities through the end of the school year. Earlier this week, Norfolk Public Schools announced that all of its activities were canceled through the end of the school year.

“Norfolk Public Schools' decision to close the remainder of the school year was made based upon recommendations by the Nebraska Department of Education and the Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department,” Dr. Jami Jo Thompson, superintendent of schools, said in a statement. “NPS is planning to continue our current model of home-based instruction for the remainder of the school year. This means that all scheduled activities, including NSAA activities, are canceled during that time period.”

Officials for both Norfolk Catholic and Lutheran High Northeast have said their activities are currently suspended but are not outright canceled for the school year.

“Our decision is similar to the NSAA,” Norfolk Catholic activities director Jeff Bellar said. “Our activities are suspended until further notice, but we have not put a specific date on it pending the situation that we're in right now.”

Lutheran High activities director Darin Suckstorf said the school's board and executive director make a weekly determination whether to resume in-person classes, which also would affect when activities not sanctioned by the NSAA would also resume.

“What if we get the all-clear to go back to school in a couple of weeks? Then we can't even practice those sports for two weeks,” Suckstorf said. “I know it's wishful thinking.”

The statewide organization had originally planned to review the statewide situation regarding the coronavirus pandemic and make an announcement this coming Monday as to the future of its spring activities.

“The NSAA encourages all member schools to follow CDC (Centers for Disease Control), local, state and federal health department regulations,” it added in Wednesday's statement.

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