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SHS Principal Open Letter: Sports Venue Attendance to Remain Limited

SHS Principal Open Letter: Sports Venue Attendance to Remain Limited

At Scottsbluff High School, our primary focus, in the midst of this COVID-19 challenge, is to keep our students attending school in person while maintaining a healthy and safe environment for our students. In order to accomplish this goal, we have created strict protocols within our school and while conducting extracurricular activities.

In implementing these protocols, we have been extremely fortunate to have a staff and student body that understands the importance of reaching our goals and are working extremely hard to follow protocols in order to ensure we stay in school and have the opportunities to participate in the clubs and activities that we are able to provide.

Recently, the Directed Health Measure in the Panhandle changed form 75% capacity to 100% capacity in outdoor venues. While we respect this change, the capacity limits raise concerns. In order to increase to 100% capacity, we would have to require masking at our outdoor events, since social distancing would not be obtainable. We understand that requiring masks of all visitors would be extremely challenging and we respect the views of our community. If we do not require masks, our best option is to maintain 75% capacity at outdoor events in order to provide opportunities for social distancing and spectator safety.

Our greatest fear at SHS is to host a large event causing an outbreak that jeopardizes our students and staff safety, their ability to participate in the clubs and organizations, and ultimately their ability to attend school face-to-face. As we progress through this year, we will continue to work with our local health officials to monitor the changing environment of the pandemic and the safety needs of our staff and students.

Please remember that our primary goal is to keep our students attending school while maintaining their ability to take advantage of all the great opportunities SHS has to offer.

With this goal in mind, we will be using the following protocols for the Scottsbluff Varsity football game vs. Custer, South Dakota on Friday, September 18th.:

  • Occupancy will remain at 75% allowing spectators the opportunity to social distance if not masking.
  • We encourage all spectators to social distance and mask.
  • We strongly encourage spectators to mask when entering and exiting the stadium, while getting concessions, or when using the restroom.
  • We will use three entrances. The Southeast entrance will be utilized for the visiting team guests and BMS students, the Southwest entrance will be used for SHS spectators, and the Northwest entrance will be utilized for SHS students and SHS spectators.
  • All students will be required to wear a mask.
  • Once the west stadium reaches social distancing capacity, spectators will be required to sit in the east stadium to allow for social distancing.
  • Gates will open at 6:00 pm.

We will be using the following protocols for the Scottsbluff vs. Gering softball games, Thursday night, September 17th:

  • Stands will be monitored to allow spectators up to social distance capacity. We have placed Bearcat Paws on bleachers to mark for social distancing.
  • Once stands reach social distance capacity, we will ask fans to socially distance around the field.
  • We encourage fans to social distance and wear masks.
  • Fans should bring lawn chairs in the event they are asked to sit around the perimeter of the softball field.

For all future Volleyball games, we will maintain our existing guidelines:

  • Spectators must be masked when attending a Volleyball match.
  • All food must be consumed outside of the gymnasium while sitting at a cafeteria table.

We greatly appreciate our parents and community support in following our protocols. Please remember that our staff and students have worked extremely hard to ensure these opportunities and we do not want to do anything that would jeopardize this goal.

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