The NEISD Headquarters
NEISD has suspended basketball practice ands games due to COVID-19. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

North East Independent School District will resume middle and high school basketball practices and games Jan. 4 after COVID-19 sidelined dozens of players and coaches, a district spokeswoman said Wednesday.

In the past few weeks, 33 basketball players and coaches have tested positive for the coronavirus, district spokeswoman Aubrey Chancellor said. About 117 others are quarantining because they were exposed to those who tested positive.

Middle school basketball games scheduled for Wednesday evening and high school basketball games scheduled over the weekend have been postponed. The move comes amid a post-Thanksgiving surge in local coronavirus cases, with 1,359 new cases reported in Bexar County on Tuesday and 800 people hospitalized.

Chancellor said basketball has presented a challenge for the district, although coaches and players have followed coronavirus safety protocols. The players are indoors, running up and down the court while breathing heavily and in close proximity to one another.

Basketball practices scheduled over the winter break, which begins Dec. 21 and ends Jan. 4, also have been postponed. NEISD plans to restart its basketball program when students return from the break.

Brooke Crum covered education for the San Antonio Report.