LAND O’ LAKES — The Pasco County School District, citing rising cases of the coronavirus, announced Friday that all athletic activities and theatrical performances in the county would be restricted to participating students and coaches for the foreseeable future.The restriction was put into place because the county’s positivity rate — the percentage of all coronavirus tests performed that show someone has COVID-19 — reached nine percent. It takes effect Monday and will not be lifted until the local positivity rate drops below 5 percent for a rolling seven-day period, according to superintendent Kurt Browning.Browning released a video statement Friday, saying that he felt the decision was a necessary one to curb a spiking number of coronavirus cases. He also said he hopes it is a temporary change.“I know this is an inconvenience,” Browning said. “I know it just won’t be the same without an audience and spectators. However, we feel this is a reasonable compromise that will be effective in keeping infection rates under control.”Pasco County athletic director Matt Wicks could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon.The decision quickly drew criticism from parents on social media, who said parents of the same household of student-athletes should be able to attend games. Others inquired whether games would be live-streamed for parents to watch from home.“Arrangements can certainly be made for a live virtual audience,” Browning said. “Performances or athletic events can be recorded.”Bishop McLaughlin Catholic High School, a private high school in Spring Hill, still will allow spectators, according to athletic director Rex Desvaristes. All events will be limited to 50 percent capacity, however, and will require masks and a temperature check.Pasco County in-season sports includes boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, girls weightlifting and wrestling. It also is still football season for Anclote, Zephyrhills, Pasco, Mitchell, Hudson and Bishop McLaughlin, all of which are in the playoffs.