Area schools react to new spectator proclamation

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Athletic directors from the Raccoon River Conference -- along with the WCAC -- are meeting to determine how to move forward on spectator attendance after most restrictions were lifted Thursday by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds surprised many of the school districts across the state Thursday by issuing a new proclamation about attendance at high school indoor sporting events.

Reynolds said masks must continue to be worn by spectators, and social distancing will remain a requirement, but schools will now be freed to choose whether they will allow unlimited attendance.

Prior to Thursday, districts were directed to allow only two spectators per athlete. Reynolds has now loosened that restriction, permitting schools to allow members from each participant’s household to attend events. Athletes, coaches, pep band and staff members are considered participants for the purposes of the directive.

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.

Perry Athletic Director Scott Pierce said Perry would continue to use the two-option system until the Raccoon River Conference chooses how to react to the governor’s loosening of restrictions.

The WCAC (Woodward-Granger, Panorama and others) will have a Friday morning meeting of athletic directors in order to act, in unison if possible, on a league-wide policy moving forward.

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