Dallas schools superintendent casts doubt on high school football this year

The superintendent of the Dallas Independent School District said Thursday that it looks unlikely that Texas's second-largest school district will be able to go forward with fall football games as planned due to coronavirus concerns.

Michael Hinojosa told MSNBC's Garrett Haake that football, due to its status as a "full-contact" sport, could make social distancing guidelines impossible to follow.

“That’s a true contact sport, I don't see how we can pull that off. There's been some discussion of moving it to the spring, but we'll have to wait and see. I don't — I seriously doubt that we can pull that off," he said.

Hinojosa added that the district could see its entire fall semester delayed due to a spike in COVID-19 cases that has vexed Texas health authorities in recent days.

Starting in September, rather than August, he added, was "initially ... a backup plan that I had, but now that backup plan is becoming more of a reality.”

Hinojosa's comments come as Texas has experienced a sharp rise in new coronavirus cases, in recent days reporting close to 10,000 new cases per day.

Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has paused the state's plans for reopening as news reports indicate that hospitals across the state are close to being overwhelmed by patients.

"As we experience an increase in both positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, we are focused on strategies that slow the spread of this virus while also allowing Texans to continue earning a paycheck to support their families," Abbott said late last month in a statement. "The last thing we want to do as a state is go backwards and close down businesses. This temporary pause will help our state corral the spread until we can safely enter the next phase of opening our state for business."