FRAMINGHAM – The threat of mosquitoes carrying Equine Encephalitis (EEE) is costing the Framingham Youth Football and Cheerleading program $12,000 this season.
On Friday, September 6, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health increased Framingham’s EEE risk to “Critical,” after an Ashland man and a Sudbury girl, age 5, tested posted for the disease.
The Framingham Board of Health voted to prohibit outdoor events from Dusk till Dawn for all city-owned fields and facilities, which is where the FYFC program holds practices.
“The Framingham Youth Football and Cheer Board of Directors has always made sure that safety comes first for our players, coaches and families,” said President of the FYC Jason Smith.
“We have been and will continue to be in constant contact with Framingham Park and Recreation around the safety of our program due to the EEE risk,” said Smith.
For this week, practices have been reduced from 5:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.
“We will have all coaches bags filled with recommended insect repellent for players, parents and coaches who are at the fields as it is recommended to use repellent with deet. It’s recommend wearing long sleeved shirts and pants along with insect repellent as well,” said Smith in an email to parents.
“All families should be comfortable in making their own decision about their child’s participation in FYFC activities. All we would ask is to please communicate directly with your head coach,” said Smith.
But starting the week of September 17, all practices will be moved indoors.
“The Board of Directors has approved the spending of $12,000 for indoor space for all of our Football Players and Cheerleader starting the week of the 17th,” said Smith.
Petroni Media Company photo of a previous FYFC game