WORCESTER (CBS/AP) — The second largest city in Massachusetts has postponed all fall high school sports because the community’s coronavirus transmission rate remains high.

Worcester officials on Thursday said fall sports including football, soccer and field hockey could now be played during an abbreviated season scheduled to start in late February called Fall II.

Worcester is one of 40 communities in the state considered high-risk hotspots for the disease, according to the state Department of Public Health, meaning that the city’s average daily case rate is higher than eight positive cases per 100,000 residents.

“We were going to wait to get a few more weeks of data before we made our decision about sports. However, due to the increasing level of coronavirus in Worcester, Worcester Public Schools will be canceling sports for the fall,” Superintendent Maureen Binienda told reporters Thursday. “Also, all fall sports and all practices are canceled. Fall sports, following the MIAA guidelines and DESE guidelines will now move to Fall II.”

The decision affects six public schools and two parochial schools.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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