Frederick County Public Schools will allow a limited number of spectators to attend its upcoming sporting events.
The news was revealed during an update from the FCPS Return to Play Committee at Wednesday’s Board of Education Meeting.
Per FCPS policy, the families of every student-athlete and team manager will be allotted two tickets per contest at no charge.
Attendance at sporting events will still be capped at 250 for outdoor events and 100 for indoor events with protocols such as social distancing and mask-wearing remaining in place due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
FCPS will also require football players to wear a special double-cloth mask that attaches to their face masks during upcoming games and practices. The school system will provide the masks to the players at no charge.
All of these policies and procedures are subject to change by the Return to Play Committee, which meets weekly to discuss them.
Following a very abbreviated two-week winter sports season, FCPS will be moving into a six-week fall sports season that begins March 5.
Coaches and athletes in football, boys and girls soccer, field hockey, volleyball and boys and girls cross-country and golf have been practicing since Feb. 13 for their seasons.
Some of those sports are not contested in a traditional arena, like a stadium or a gym, and don’t require a ticket to watch. But spectators will still be expected to follow FCPS protocols when it comes to physical distancing and mask-wearing. They will not be permitted to watch in large groups.
During the two-week winter sports season, FCPS said there were nine total COVID-19 cases among 1,465 student athletes. One coach tested positive.
According to FCPS, there were no positive cases among wrestlers, who did not have to wear masks due to safety concerns.
Athletes in other sports, such as basketball, were required to wear masks during competition since wearing a mask did not jeopardize anyone’s safety.