Welcome Back! School sporting event attendance limits to be lifted Monday

In an announcement Thursday, Governor Bill Lee announced that Executive Order 74, which limits attendance at school-sponsored sporting events in Tennessee will be suspended effective Monday, February 1.

According to the TSSAA, its COVID-19 Regulations and Rules Modifications for practice and competition as well as the current restrictions on preseason scrimmages and jamborees adopted by the Board of Control at their July 22 meeting are still in place for all sports and must be followed. Visit the Tennessee Returns to Play page of www.TSSAA.org for complete details.

With the Governor’s announcement, the restrictions limiting cheerleaders, dance team members and band members, as well as members of the general public from attending contests will be lifted on Monday, February 1. The TSSAA rules regarding masks, temperature checks, social distancing and COVID-19 recommended venue capacities will remain in effect.

“We’re proud that our member schools have been taking steps to follow the Governor’s orders and limit the spread of the virus,” said Bernard Childress, Executive Director of TSSAA. “It is vitally important that we continue to be smart and safe in our activities, wear a mask, wash our hands and practice social distancing at every athletic contest.”

Member schools are encouraged to limit fan attendance to a number that will allow adequate social distancing (e.g., 1/4 to 1/3 of typical seating capacity, depending on the characteristics of the particular venue) and should mark/designate bleachers or seats in order to promote social distancing among spectators.

Member schools must facilitate compliance with any applicable state or local order limiting gathering sizes for participation in public events. In consultation with local health providers, member schools in areas experiencing high virus transmission should consider further limitations on attendance (e.g., family members only, or no spectators). Limit informal gathering in areas where social distancing cannot be maintained.

Today, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee released the following statement in coordination with his video announcement.

“Tennessee’s COVID-19 numbers continue to rapidly improve with almost a 60% decline in cases and nearly a 40% decline in hospitalizations because of the efforts of Tennesseans to wear masks, wash hands and limit gatherings. When case counts were at their highest, we placed temporary, targeted restrictions on indoor school sporting events. The data now reflects rapidly falling numbers and because of that data, we are ending the recent additional restrictions around who can participate in or attend indoor school sporting events.  The guidance and rules of local education agencies and the TSSAA remain in place, but Executive Order 74 will be suspended effective Monday, February 1. I encourage Tennesseans to keep up their responsible personal choices as we work towards a COVID-free Tennessee.”

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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