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Much smaller crowds becomes the norm

Gov. Reynolds’ proclamation limits athletic event spectators
The CCA student section erupts in euphoria as a half-court, buzzer-beating, three-point basket by Calia Clubb hits pay dirt at the end of the third quarter Saturday, Feb. 22, in a Class 4A regional semifinal game. The bleachers will much emptier this season due to continued COVID-19 reactions and precautions.

DES MOINES– The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc, and threaten the likelihood of a winter sports season.
With a surge in positive cases of the virus in recent weeks, Gov. Kim Reynolds extended the State Public Health Emergency Declaration on Tuesday, Nov. 10, for an additional 30 days.
In addition to continuing previous requirements on attendees of social, community, recreational, leisure or sporting gatherings to maintain 6 feet of distance from other groups, the latest proclamation adds new requirements, which directly impact high school sports.
Indoor gatherings with more than 25 people are prohibited unless all participants over 2 years of age wear masks except when eating or drinking. At an indoor youth sporting or recreational gathering, only two spectators are permitted for each athlete. During the fall sports season, Clear Creek Amana High School (CCA), as an example, issued four tickets per participant, including the athletes, cheerleaders and band members. However, different school districts had different policies. The Iowa City Community School District (ICCSD) opened the football season without any spectators, which led to non-socially distanced crowds in the parking lot and along the fences surrounding the field at Liberty High.
According to a memo to athletic directors from the Iowa High School Athletic Association’s Tom Keating, and the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union’s Jean Berger released on Thursday, Nov. 12, pep bands, cheerleaders, dance team performers and national anthem singers are not limited under the governor’s proclamation as they are not considered spectators. They are required to wear masks if in groups of more than 25, and are required to socially distance themselves. However, as they are not participants, they do not receive two spectators’ tickets for family or friends.
The CCA school board was to discuss and decide on the district’s winter activities attendance policy during a Monday, Nov. 16, work session (after this issue’s deadline) while the ICCSD’s next regularly scheduled meeting is set for Tuesday, Nov. 24.