Appeals Court Ruling Changes LHSD Athletics/Extra-curricular Events Protocols


October 5, 2020


Dear Mustang Nation,


It is with deep regret that due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and to comply with the PIAA/Gov. Wolf Targeted Mitigation Order and Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stay on the recent lower federal court ruling, the Laurel Highlands School District will be reinstating past gathering protocols to comply with the Governor’s order. To that end, all indoor athletic events will be reduced to 25 participants including team players, event personnel, and spectators; likewise, outdoor events will be limited to 250 participants including team players, event personnel, and spectators. I am keenly aware of the inconvenience and hardship this will cause many of you, and through the lens of family and fans may appear to be unfair and lacking compromise. However, we must do what we can to preserve the ability of our student-athletes to compete without the fear of non-compliance and cancellation of competitions.


Therefore, in an effort to comply with the above-mentioned protocols, I ask that you adhere to these procedures in an orderly fashion should you be turned away from an event due to over-capacity issues. In short, once capacity is achieved for any extracurricular event, the facility will be deemed full and entry will be denied. Consequently, based on past attendance we will achieve maximum capacity for football and volleyball games based on existing teams and needed event personnel; therefore, it is unlikely that any outside spectator will gain entry. In this vein, all Middle School events may be played at the high school per field availability and scheduling. We are living in unprecedented times and navigating troubled seas. I sincerely ask that you exhibit patience with the procedures/protocols being placed upon us, we understand and are aware of the hardship place upon you. However, refusal to adhere may comprise the ability of our teams to continue with their respective seasons.


As the Commonwealth changes the landscape (which can be sudden and frequently) for spectators we will update and communicate to you our plan for spectator attendance accordingly. Your attention to these requests is appreciated. I, like you, sincerely hope that we can open our schools to a full functioning capacity in the near future. Thank you.


Below is the framework the Laurel Highlands School District will be utilizing for spectator attendance at sporting/extracurricular events until further notice:


Respectfully, 


Dr. Jesse T. Wallace, III

Superintendent

jesse.wallace@lhsd.org


Court Ruling: https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/Guidance/Targeted-Mitigation-FAQ.aspx


Governor Sports Guidance:

https://www.governor.pa.gov/covid-19/sports-guidance/


SPORTING EVENTS ATTENDANCE PROTOCOLS UPDATED -- 10/5/2020

In light of the current COVID-19 guidelines, Laurel Highlands High School will operate under the following procedures for participants and spectators:


At this time, outdoor events are limited to 250 and indoor events are limited to 25 participants and spectators.  This total number includes essential participants. (ie. participating student-athletes (home and visitors), coaches (home and visitors), officials, pressbox personnel, LH cheerleaders and coaches, Mustang Band Members and Staff, school security, maintenance employees, etc.).

For each event, the Athletic Director will calculate the number of essential participants (as described above).  That predetermined number will be the starting number of attendees for that event. As spectators arrive, they will be counted upon entry. Once 25/250 attendees are present, no additional spectators will be admitted.

Spectators must wear a mask/face covering and maintain social distancing guidelines. Failure to adhere to social distancing guidelines and mask/face covering requirements is cause for removal from the event. If you are unwilling or unable to comply with the social distancing and face-covering requirements, please do not plan to attend the event.

Spectators admittance to the facility will be on a "first-come, first-served" basis.

All spectators will enter the top gate for outdoor events and the main high school entrance for indoor events.


No concessions will be available at any event.

Spectators from visiting schools may attend.

All Essential Participants will enter the lower gate.

Varsity Football

No spectators permitted due to the number of essential participants.

JV Football

Spectators permitted up to 250 total attendees (Essential participants and spectators)

                     Top Gate Entrance

Girls Varsity/JV Soccer

Spectators permitted up to 250 total attendees (Essential participants and spectators)

                     Top Gate Entrance

Boys Varsity/JV Soccer

Spectators permitted up to 250 total attendees (Essential participants and spectators)

                     Top Gate Entrance

Golf

As determined by venue.

Cross Country

Spectators permitted.

Girls Volleyball

Indoor events limited to 25 total.  No spectators permitted.

Any of the above-mentioned guidelines/procedures are subject to change at any time.  Attempts to communicate any changes will be made at that time.  However, due to the ever-changing nature of the situation, changes may be made that do not permit time for ample notice.  We appreciate your understanding of this possibility in advance.

The Laurel Highlands School District is looking forward to the long-awaited return to high school sports competition.  By working together, we hope to safely complete the entire fall sports schedule.