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As the school moves temporarily away from in-person teaching, sports competitions have been postponed until Jan. 17.

PMG PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Forest Grove senior Ally Hammond during a game against North Salem Tuesday, Dec. 7, at Forest Grove High School. Buchanan is one of four returning starters for the Vikings.
, Forest Grove News-Times - Sports The Vikings are off to a 3-1 start with wins over Roseburg, North Medford and North Salem. Forest Grove girls basketball again aiming for postseasonForest Grove High School is halting athletic contests until Jan. 17.

Forest Grove athletic director Doug Thompson said the "pause" is due to a number of factors, but that it's primarily tied to staffing issues revolving around the ability to test athletes.

"We have a bunch of nurse aides out," Thompson said. "I'm not sure what the number was yesterday, but we have multiple kids experiencing symptoms who won't be able to be tested. So, that's the biggest thing with athletics."

Forest Grove High School is pausing in-person instruction due to staffing shortages during a surge of COVID-19 cases.

Spokesperson David Warner said currently, the high school is missing 18% of staff, while 32% of the student body has been absent.

"It's really about how we can cover and run school safely. We've been cobbling it together with other teachers covering during their prep periods and office staff filling in," Warner said. "We're just to the point where we can't safely do it anymore. There is too much uncovered."

Forest Grove's league, the Pacific Conference, canceled both of its girls interleague basketball games this evening, while Sherwood is still scheduled to play in a non-league contest at Sheldon.

Both Tigard and Tualatin high schools have paused their athletic activity until Jan. 24.

As of now, Viking athletes won't be practicing Jan. 11 through 12, but the school has a plan to resume practices starting Jan. 13 through Jan. 15, with competitions starting Jan. 17.

Thompson said as part of the personnel shortages, it was going to be difficult to staff basketball games and wrestling competitions at the school over the next handful of days. He added that when kids return to practice and ultimately competition next week, they'll be in a better position to adequately test and support their athletes, and it — at least for now — appears that they'll have the canceled games rescheduled.

"We'll start practice Thursday in our pods, and we'll get back to competition next week," he said. "We'll be putting the final touches on it later today, but I think we'll have almost everything rescheduled, so we're not going to miss a whole bunch."


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