Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds removed limitations on the number of spectators allowed at high school and middle school events Thursday, leaving any decision on what restrictions to impose up to local districts. The governor’s proclamation maintained the requirement for masks to be worn at all times while encouraging social distancing.
It was at first believed most conferences might attempt to issue league-wide policies, but, at least so far as the Raccoon River and West Central Activities Conferences those hopes were quickly dashed as individual districts chose instead to install their own guidelines, those many do coincide with others.
Earlier this week, Perry announced a two-option policy. Option one continues the two-voucher system, with the vouchers previously distributed to each athlete and coach. Option two allows attendance as a household, specifically, those living under the same roof as the participant. In the event a participant lived in two households, both may attend, with household rosters kept at the gate and spectators checking in before paying admission.
PHS policy mandates that spectators will not be permitted to use both options. For example, if a family chooses to attend as a household, grandparents not living in the same home would not be permitted to use the vouchers issued for admission because that would be mixing both options at the same time. Only one option choice is available for spectators.
WCAC members Woodward-Granger and Panorama both opted to remove all restrictions on the number of spectators allowed at events.
Both schools insisted a strict enforcement of the mask mandate would remain in place, with social distancing strongly encouraged outside of family groups.
W-G warned of possible limitations to the number of spectators at certain events as the space available for social distancing might be compromised by larger crowds, with Panorama echoing those sentiments.
Panorama was somewhat more specific, noting food and drink will not be allowed in the gym and that any student or child younger below the level of freshman must now be escorted by an adult at all times, including while visiting the cafeteria.
The Panther athletic department also noted that participants opting to leave the event with a spectator must make prior arrangements to meet with each other outside of the building at the conclusion of the event.
All fans at all events, at all schools, will be asked to promptly leave the building at the conclusion of the activity.
Each of the three districts insist their new policies are temporary, will be subject to consistent oversight, and may be changed on short notice in the future.