August 26, 2021 – The Razorbacks vs. Tigers hometown rivalry game scheduled for Friday, September 3, is cancelled due to the increased number of COVID-19 cases in our community. Arkansas and Texas city and county officials, local health care departments, and both Texarkana Arkansas School District and Texarkana Independent School District superintendents discussed the upcoming event, and the decision was made to cancel this year’s football game. With COVID-19 being at a critical stage, there is concern that a well- attended game with many local residents will add additional strain to an already overwhelmed health care system.
“The Miller County Local Health Authority continues to monitor the
COVID-19 pandemic locally and consider factors such as current hospitalizations, positivity rates, active cases, and vaccination rates when making recommendations for the health and safety of residents,” commented local physician Dr. Jerry Stringfellow. Local ERs are seeing record numbers of patients daily, calls for 911 services are much higher than normal, both counties have more active COVID cases than ever before, and vaccination rates remain well below the state and national averages. The much anticipated rivalry game averages a crowd of over 6,000 fans. “Continuing with plans to host a super spreader event such as the Arkansas High vs. Texas High football game at this time is not advisable,” Stringfellow says.
“Adhering to the Arkansas Department of Health guidance for large outdoor venue events will be extremely difficult with such a large number of fans in attendance,” explained TASD Superintendent Dr. Becky Kesler. “The health and well-being of our students and staff is our greatest priority when making decisions, and we will continue to work in collaboration with our medical professionals as they advise us on how to best move forward,” she said. “We thank you for your understanding and hope this decision will help in reducing the spread of COVID-19.”