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AIA votes to cancel winter high school sports in Arizona

(Photo by Gray Mortimore/Getty Images)

The executive board of the Arizona Interscholastic Association voted 5-4 to cancel the 2021 winter high school sports season.

The decision Friday came after an executive meeting was held. A recommendation from the AIA’s Sports Medicine Advisory Committee said that the organization should cancel the winter sports season due to the state of Arizona’s spiking coronavirus levels.

The AIA had already decided to delay high school winter sports, which usually begin in November, until at least Jan. 18.

Arizona health officials on Friday reported 11,658 new coronavirus cases and 197 additional deaths from COVID-19.

It was the third-largest daily death report, with the top three coming since Tuesday.

As of Thursday, Arizona had the second-highest coronavirus case rate, falling behind New Jersey after several days at No. 1, and third-highest death rate per capita nationally in the last seven days, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

The number of Arizona’s COVID-19 hospital inpatients dipped to 4,907 on Thursday, 13 below the record set a day earlier.