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FCPS sports begin under limited attendance policy

Published: Sep. 8, 2020 at 4:46 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The first sporting event of the fall season in Fayette County began Tuesday evening.

At Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School, student-athletes are practicing, but they didn’t immediately know how many people, if any, would be in the stands to watch them play.

“We’ve got an attendance list," Paul Larence Dunbar Athletic Director Jason Howell said. "Basically, it is listed alphabetically by participating athlete, each athlete gets to have five immediate family members.”

Just hours before the first soccer game of the season, FCPS officials released the guidelines for fall sporting events:

  • Limited admittance for 4-5 previously identified members of each athlete’s immediate family.
  • Provisions allowing cheerleaders and bands to participate; cheer and band families will follow the same limited admission as athletes' families.
  • Temperature and health screening requirements for all persons entering the competition venue.
  • Assigned seating for family units at least 6 feet apart from other families.
  • Mask requirements for all spectators during the entire competition. The only exception will be for those with a medical exemption documented by a medical doctor on official letterhead from the office issuing the exemption. Those who refuse to wear a mask for any other reason will not be allowed entry or will be asked to leave the event.
  • School discretion about whether to offer limited concession stand sales.
  • Entrance and exit expectations and prohibition of congregating in groups before, during or after events.

“A lot of people can’t come like I don’t think the students can be here which is a little disappointing," Whitney Johnston, whose son plays soccer, said. "But, I totally understand they have to limit the crowd.”

“I mean obviously there’s no playbook for this, I don’t want to say we’re learning on the fly, but we’ve got good protocols," Howell said. "I think when people get used to coming to a game and get used to the procedures, I think it will start loosening up, but obviously nothing is going to be perfect the first time.”

The fan experience isn’t going to be the same either, but fans at Tuesday night’s soccer game told us they would do pretty much anything as long as the kids get to play ball.

“I would not come, if he could play, you know," Johnston said. "I would be okay with that as long as he gets to play.”

“The better we do at this with immediate family, with wearing the masks, with washing hands, eventually it’ll be more than just five family members," Howell said. "And, we can get back to 25 percent and 50 percent capacity.”

We’re told the district is also in the process of finalizing its “Fayette County Public Schools Return to Competition Guidelines,” which include detailed information for students, staff, and families:

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