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Idaho to Allow More Spectators at HS Athletics Events

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Idaho governor Brad Little has issued revisions to an existing COVID-19 order that will allow more spectators at high school sporting events.

Little’s Dec. 30 order sets new guidelines that aim for consistency with other requirements of Idaho’s Stage 2 Stay Healthy Order. The order had originally capped spectators at high school athletics events to 10.

The new order would allow athlete to have two spectators at both home and away games. The limit is 13 players each for freshman, junior varsity and varsity basketball teams. Cheerleaders are now allowed at games, but limited to six per squad. They are also allowed two spectators. 

“It’s a win-win for everybody,” Skyline athletic director Gregg Baczuk told the Post Register. “It’s a win for the parents, it’s a win for the kids, the coaches … It’s a win for the administrators too. We want those gyms full. It doesn’t make our jobs easier to have empty gyms. It’s been horrible.”

Idaho is still in Stage 2 which will continue to ban student sections, bands and dance teams. 

Other rules from the new order include:

  • All non-participating athletes, essential personnel, administrators, and table help are required to properly wear masks. Freshmen and JV teams may remain in the gym behind the team playing.
  • Masks and facial coverings are required for all spectators when not seated and physically distanced.
  • Physical distancing must be practiced in any place in the facility.
  • For purposes of this plan, physical distancing is 12 feet from non-household members.
  • Event area, such as gyms, will be cleared after each event, cleaned, and sanitized prior to the second event taking place.
  • Districts that don’t sign the new agreement will still be required to follow Stage 2 guidelines and limit spectators to 10.
  • Any school or district found to be in non-compliance will 1. Receive a written warning. 2. Forfeit the event. 3. Forfeit all future athletic events for that sport during the winter season.
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