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Sporting activities are sparse in general but particularly on and around the Fourth of July.

High school football practices do not begin in earnest until the end of the month, but limited summer workouts were suspended at Laurens County’s two public high schools, Laurens District and Clinton, last week due to an increase in the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus.

Gov. Henry McMaster publicly raised the possibility earlier this week that the pandemic may make football and other fall sports impossible if the increase of disease continues unabated. He said it may be the only responsible course if conditions do not change.

If these numbers continue to rise and the danger persists, I can't do it,” McMaster said. “I won't do it.”

Statewide, the Department of Health and Environmental Control reported 1,558 new cases and 10 deaths on Friday, raising the state total to 41,413 cases and 7 deaths.

The LDHS Raiders will resume activities no sooner than July 22. The Clinton Red Devils have announced suspension of limited sessions for an unspecified period. Those suspensions also are in place in other fall sports, as well as boys’ and girls’ basketball

Laurens Academy, which took its Independence time off during the current week, will return to its practice field on Monday morning. The Crusaders began drills on June 1, the Red Devils on June 8 and the Raiders on June 15. None has reported positive tests involving its athletes.

Little League baseball in Laurens Parks & Recreation ended prematurely last week.

Travel teams in baseball and softball remain active.

NASCAR, which has offered limited admissions at a few of its events, continues television coverage with its races, including events this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Major League Baseball is opening an abbreviated 60-game schedule on July 23-24, but minor-league seasons have been canceled. Some independent leagues are going to open.

The National Basketball Association’s 8-game completion of its regular season, followed by playoffs, is set to begin on July 31.