BILLINGS — The Montana High School Association plans to review the status of spring sports on Thursday, four days earlier than it had originally planned to reevaluate the suspended season.

The MHSA Executive Board will have a conference call Thursday morning to "determine the proper course of action relevant for spring activities in relation to the current information available from the Governor, State and Local Health Departments and the CDC," MHSA executive director Mark Beckman wrote in an email to high school administrators on Monday.

The reason for this change stemmed, in part, from Gov. Steve Bullock's announcement last week that the state's shelter-in-place order would extend beyond this Friday, the most recent deadline. Bullock said he expects the stay-at-home order, as well as the K-12 school closure, to be extended through April 24. Beckman believes the order will last until at least April 30, he wrote in Monday's email.

"The options staff are working on will allow for the possibility that all MHSA spring activities may resume, and that they may be in a completely different format from the originally scheduled event," Beckman wrote. "Each sport and activity are different and as we review how those activities may resume, if possible, we understand there are different dynamics that may lend to an event not being able to be held."

The stay-at-home order, school closure and spring sports suspension have been in response to the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Montana has more than 300 known cases of COVID-19 and six deaths as of Monday.

The MHSA suspended the spring season on March 16 and announced then that it would reevaluate on Monday, April 13. The organization maintained the April 13 deadline until Monday.


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