EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The high school football season in Rhode Island gets underway with Friday’s slate of non-league games, a number of which have been rescheduled due to concerns over mosquito-borne viruses, specifically eastern equine encephalitis (EEE).
EEE has been very active in Southern New England as of late. The risk level has been raised in many communities and so far this year, two people have died after contracting the virus: a West Warwick man and a Fairhaven woman.
The peak hours for mosquito activity are between dusk and dawn so health officials urged schools and athletics programs to hold outdoor events such as games and practices earlier in the day to minimize the risk of players, coaches, and spectators being bitten.
The risk of mosquito-borne illnesses typically lasts until the first hard frost, according to health officials, which usually arrives in mid- to late October.
Lincoln and Shea moved their first game to Thursday night (the latter walked away with a 42-7 win) while others will be played earlier on Friday or on Saturday.
Toll Gate vs. Juanita Sanchez co-op and West Warwick vs. Tolman are both scheduled to kick off at 4 p.m. Friday and others will follow between 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Five games in Rhode Island will be held as scheduled at 7 p.m.
In Massachusetts, Case High School announced Friday that Diman Regional Voc-Tech elected to forfeit their game despite Swansea not being listed as a critical or high-risk area.
The weather forecast calls for sunny, dry, fall-like conditions for the afternoon with temperatures falling into the 50s during the later games.
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