With a federal ruling this week lifting statewide COVID-19 limits on crowd size at various gatherings, Tyrone Area School District announced that it will allow for 25% capacity at Gray Veterans Memorial Field for remaining football games this fall.

Before the ruling, the state Department of Education advised schools to voluntarily comply with Governor Tom Wolf’s original gathering restrictions set at 25 people indoors, and 250 outdoors. The federal court determined that those limits were unconstitutional, and schools have since opted to make their own determinations.

At Tyrone, the change means 1,100 spectators will be permitted to enter the facility for varsity football games remaining this season. Coaching staff, football players, band members and cheerleaders will have the first opportunity to purchase tickets before 3 p.m. on Fridays. Fans with pre-purchased tickets will enter the field at the upper gate by the scoreboard.

Visiting players and coaching staff will be able to purchase two tickets each at a will call window. With these guidelines, there will be no reserved seating and no passes accepted at the gate.

The district this week also released spectator rules for Gray Veterans Memorial Field. Spectators must comply with entering and exiting procedures.

The district is requiring masks or face coverings to be worn at all times at the venue. Seating areas will allow for members of the same household to sit together while maintaining social distancing from others.

Spectators are advised to self-screen for symptoms and fevers, and avoid attending events if experiencing a fever above 100.4 degrees, or symptoms of COVID-19 such as a cough, shortness of breath, body aches or headache, new loss of taste or sense of smell, sore throat, a runny nose, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, or any related symptoms.

Spectators will be required to stay socially distant in ticket lines, and remain seated while in the bleachers. Walking around the stadium will not be permitted, except while walking to and from restroom facilities.

At the game’s end, home visitors will exit the field near the scoreboard. Spectators from the visiting side will exit using the main gate. No one will be permitted to gather at the players’ exit and teams will go directly into locker rooms or buses for departure.

“Please keep in mind this is a work in progress,” said a district Athletic Department spokesperson. Negative actions will result in immediate dismissal from the stadium, and the district said if any person refuses to leave from the stadium when asked, the game will be stopped and all spectators will need to exit before the game continues.

Bellwood-Antis School District held a board meeting on Thursday and agreed to increase spectators permitted for varsity football games at John R. Hayes Field and volleyball games.

Each student athlete, coaching staff, and cheerleader and band member — home and visiting — will receive four tickets that can be purchased at the ticket booth on Fridays. Spectators will need to show identification to enter.

For the gymnasium, each student athlete from both teams will receive two tickets at the ticket booth and spectators must show identification to enter. Junior high and junior varsity parents and spectators will be required to leave after the game to allow for the next group of spectators to enter the gym.

“We are happy that all players can have family present, but unfortunately general public and members of the student body without tickets are not permitted at this time,” the district announced. The general rules are the same as Tyrone’s rules as described earlier in this article.

The district asks spectators to abide by social distancing and mask guidelines so the opportunity to welcome spectators can continue.

Altoona Area School District announced it will allow up to 33%, or 3,400 spectators, at its home game in Mansion Park this week. Depending how this week goes, the district may allow up to 5,000 to attend the next game against Hollidaysburg.

Adeena Harbst can be reached at aharbst@thedailyherald.net.


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