Gov Wolf in Lancaster

Gov. Tom Wolf, left, listens as Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine talks about the COVID-19 pandemic outside Lancaster Health Center, 304 N. Water Street, in Lancaster city Friday, July 24, 2020.

High school sports aren’t worth the risk this fall, according to the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

“Like many other states, as well as now the (Mid-American) conference in college, and a number of schools that have come out, (we) are saying that it’s just not safe, given what we’re anticipating in the fall, for children to be in sports,’’ Dr. Rachel Levine said at a news conference Monday in Harrisburg.

Gov. Tom Wolf issued a strong recommendation Thursday that high school, recreational and youth sports not be played in the state until at least Jan. 1, 2021.

The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, which had been planning for a fall high school sports season, responded Friday by pushing back a decision until Aug. 24.

Levine was asked Monday on what basis, data or otherwise, Wolf made the recommendation.

“Even though many of those sports are outside, many of the sports are going to involve a lot of personal contact, not only football but especially football, where social distancing is not going to be possible, even in soccer and many other sports,” Levine said.

Levine, who is a pediatrician, said she recognized how important sports are for kids “in terms of, you know, their mental health, their physical health and for some in terms of opportunities for college."

“Given the size and scope of this global pandemic," she continued, "we, as well as many other states, and I think you’ll find more and more colleges and college leagues are going to say it’s not worth the risk to do sports this fall given COVID-19.”