Football Is A Go In Allegheny Co. With Updated Guidelines

PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - If the PIAA moves forward with fall sports like it is expected, large team sports, like football will be able to go ahead as planned.

On Thursday, The Allegheny County Health Department announced that outdoor gathering restrictions of 50 or more also apply to K-12 sports, but there is now a way around that.

The county, along with the WPIAL announced Friday that large sporting events will have three pods, or groups of 50 or less.

Each sideline will be considered a pod with athletes as well as coaches and staff physically distanced wearing masks.

A third pod will be the players engaged in competition.

 “All activity is occurring with mitigation measures in place for athletes, and established policies to address cases and outbreaks from games, should they occur,” a press release stated.

The health department believes sports can move ahead safely if the following measures are followed:

·        Events must be hosted at a facility where regulation can occur.

·        An administrator and/or designee must be present to monitor gatherings and ensure compliance.

·        Teams and/or pods must not exceed the gathering size of 50 people in a close proximity to each other (such as an individual sideline, on the competition area during a contest, or in a section of the bleachers).

·        While on the sidelines and not engaged in competition, coaches, athletes and staff should have a face covering and keep 6’ of distance between each other.

·        Athletes and coaches should comply with their school’s Health and Safety Plans with regard to health screenings prior to practice and competition.

·        Events should be limited to the time necessary for appropriate warm-up and competition. Schools should avoid arriving at a facility well in advance of the starting time and should leave as soon as possible after the completion of the competition. There shall be no congregating in groups after the event.

·        The total facility capacity may not exceed the state mandate of 250 individuals.

While the state has imposed a limit of 250 people or less at an outdoor gathering, Allegheny County’s is more restrictive at 50 or less.

Fans will still be prohibited from attending games in person.

Those engaged in competition should not share uniforms, towels, apparel or equipment and are expected to bring their own water or other hydration beverage.

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