By CBS3 Staff

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced on Friday it will now allow fall high school sports, reversing course from its earlier decision against play. On Aug. 24, the archdiocese originally announced fall sports at the 17 area high schools would be canceled due to the pandemic.

Officials say the reversal comes because they believe “the environment has changed for the better over the past month.”

“We understand and value the importance of athletics as part of the program of formation within our high schools. We express our gratitude to our school communities for their trust and support while we appropriately deliberated how to bring back athletic programs with a commitment to safety in these unprecedented times,” Superintendent of Secondary Schools Sister Maureen McDermott said in a statement.

Days after the archdiocese’s decision to cancel fall sports, frustrated students and parents gathered for a protest outside of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia building.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has recommended no high school sports be played until 2021.