COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Independent high schools around the state will be able to host fans at football games and other fall sports this year.
The South Carolina Department of Commerce has approved the South Carolina Independent Schools Association’s plan to allow spectators to attend sporting events at the schools. Governor Henry McMaster announced in July that organizations may submit a request for an exemption with the Department of Commerce in order to host more than 250 people at events.
“Schools are working very hard on our plan,” said SCISA athletics director Mike Fanning. “We’re talking about blocking off or restricting access to every other bleacher in the stands. We’re talking about schools with green areas around their football fields, including in the back of the end zone, to designate family boxes or family areas where they bring lawn chairs to put out and be socially distanced.”
According to the plan, schools will have social distancing in place and fans will be required to wear masks entering and exiting the facilities. Fanning said fans will be allowed to take their masks off in the arena or stadium once they are seated and socially distanced. Schools will have to create plans seating plans for fans in their gyms and at their stadiums.
Fans will not be allowed on the field or court before or after games are played.
Schools must also have a traffic flow plan in place and signs posted to remind fans of social distancing guidelines. Schools will also be required to communicate restrictions, directions, and expectations for their on-campus activity along with important information about state, county, or city ordinances or emergency orders.
According to the SCISA Event Management Plan, handwashing or hand sanitizing stations should be located at key points of the facility including entry gates, concession stands, and restrooms. Anyone working in a concession stand will be required to wear a mask as well. Schools should consider offering “grab and go” options as well as offering concessions on the home and visitor sides of the stadium.
SCISA is requiring all restrooms and locker rooms to be deep cleaned before and after games.
SCISA will host its first football games of the year on August 28.