Palm Beach County schools update athletic safety protocols

Posted at 7:33 AM, Aug 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-27 07:55:19-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — If you are heading to a Friday night football game, there are some new procedures you need to know about in Palm Beach County, designed to keep everyone safe and continue the fight against COVID-19.

Several games have already been cancelled due to COVID, so school leaders are doing everything possible to allow student athletes the chance to compete for a full season.

New protocols include:

  • Spectator capacity has been reduced to 50%, allowing a maximum of 2,000 spectators in a stadium, and 700 in a gym. The swim deck at Boca Raton Community High School will also have a 50% spectator capacity as well.
  • Digital ticketing is available. Download the GoFan app or click here to purchase tickets online before the event.
  • Concessions (when available) will have bottled beverage options and pre-packaged snacks available for purchase.
  • Masks will be required for all spectators both outdoors and indoors in compliance with School Board Board Policy 2.065.
  • Social distancing will be incorporated into venue seating plans for spectators as best as possible to comply with the 50% capacity level requirement. Distancing is strongly recommended at all events, both indoors and outdoors.
  • Practices will be closed to the public on all 24 traditional public high school campuses, with the exception of college coaches and recruiters.
  • Sanitization of bleachers and equipment will occur after each event, utilizing the UNX Disinfecting program.

Chief Academic Officer Dr. Glenda Sheffield says, "It's not about winning championships at this point. What's important to me is giving our students an opportunity to engage in extracurricular activities and athletic events, but doing it in a safe manner where we are keeping their health a top priority." She adds, "we're gonna need the student athletes to do their part, we're gonna need the assistance of the families and our communities as they are going onto the campuses - the spectators who are participagting - this is going to take the work of everyone."

This week, the Olympic Heights vs. Park Vista game scheduled for Thursday night and the Lake Worth vs. Suncoast game for Friday night were cancelled.