MONROE — Union County Public Schools has announced all fall sports athletes will be allowed to return to their campuses for voluntary workouts beginning July 6, according to the UCPS communications department.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic that resulted in Governor Roy Cooper shutting down in-person participation in public schools in North Carolina last April, high school sports were canceled. Winter sports in N.C. didn’t get to crown state champions in basketball and spring sports had just started competing when their season ended abruptly

More than 1,000 residents of North Carolina have died in a span of about four months in 2020.

UCPS qualified the announcement about resuming workouts. “This date (July 6) is subject to change if there are adjustments from state and local agencies,” according to the statement. “With health and safety as a top priority, all workouts will be conducted in compliance with Centers for Disease Control (CDC), National Federation of High Schools, N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, N.C. High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) and local health department guidelines for athletic participation.”

UCPS also announced it will spend the weeks leading up to July 6 to “ensure that schools have the necessary PPE equipment and that coaches are trained to follow the recently released guidelines.”

The second NCHSAA dead period of July 20-26 has been eliminated, according to the statement.

Anyone with questions can contact their school’s athletic director or the Union County athletic director at nelson.garner@ucps.k12.nc.us.