LR5 issues mask requirement among new safety protocols for football games

CDC recommends masks in public settings

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - With teams from the South Carolina High School League (SCHSL) beginning their football seasons on Friday night, Lexington-Richland School District Five unveiled new safety protocols for fans attending games at stadiums within the district.

Fans will be required to wear masks at all sporting events, the district said. Masks can be taken off for “brief periods of time” if people are eating, drinking or social distancing.

Spectators will be limited to 50% capacity, per SCHSL guidelines. Seating will be blocked off to make sure fans social distance.

“If social distancing guidelines are not followed, athletic events may be limited to 250 spectators for all remaining competitions,” the district said.

District officials also say hand sanitizer stations are being set up at ticket windows, gate entrances and in restrooms. Only pre-packaged food and drinks will be sold at concession stands, per CDC guidelines.

“Our goal is to provide a safe environment for student-athletes and the community to enjoy our sporting events,” Alvin Pressley, School District Five director of secondary education, said. “As part of the guidelines, we will require masks and social distancing at our sporting events, limit seating capacity in the stands as well as limit access to the sidelines to essential personnel only.”

LR5 has also renewed its clear bag policy for this school year.

Approved bags include:

  • Clear Tote Bag: plastic, vinyl or PVC and do not exceed 12″ x 6″x 12″.
  • One-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar).
  • Small clutch bags no larger than 4.5″ x 6.5″ -- approximately the size of a hand, with or without a handle or strap.

Other safety measures for fall varsity events include:

  • The district will utilize metal detectors to screen spectators at varsity athletic events at Chapin, Dutch Fork and Irmo high schools.
  • Bags (including clear bags) also will be subject to searches at designated entry points, in line with state statute permitting “reasonable search” of any person entering school premises.
  • Admission will be charged prior to the game and throughout the duration until seating capacity is met.
  • All students 8th grade or younger are required to attend games with parents or guardians.
  • School Resource Officers also will travel with teams at away games.

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