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Sports Spectator and COVID Update
Sports Spectator and COVID Update
Dr. Seth Miller
Monday, February 01, 2021

The following is an update regarding the safety protocols and spectator procedures that will be available for spring sports being implemented at Westville School District. 

Spectators for Home Events

There are certain IDPH guidelines that will outline what events the district will be able to host spectators.  Events held at WHS will be able to host spectators, but the gymnasium at WJHS is too small to host spectators.  Events held at WHS will have provisions in place so that each student may allocate two spectators to attend.  Events are limited to 50 total spectators but even with that limitation, there will be enough spots available that each participating student will be able to invite two guest spectators.  Students can select different spectators for each game.  If there is gym availability, some home junior high school events may be moved to the WHS gym to provide opportunities for spectators at some WJHS events as well.  More information will be provided about the potential for WJHS events to be played at WHS as schedules are finalized.

Spectator Guidelines for Home Events

The following guidelines will be used for all home events for spectators who are invited by a participating student.

  • Only guests invited by a participating student will be allowed to attend.
  • Masks are mandatory for all spectators and must be worn while inside school buildings
  • Spectators should maintain six feet of social distancing to the extent possible while inside the building.  Individuals from the same household may sit together as a group.
  • Spectators who are experiencing any of the following symptoms must not enter the school building: fever, cough, sore throat, headache, lost of taste/smell, difficulty breathing, chills, vomiting
  • Spectators will have their temperature taken upon arrival to the school building and individuals with a temperature above 100.4 degrees will not be permitted to enter the school building.
  • There will be no cost for admission to games.
  • There will be no concession stand food and beverages provided during games.

Spectators for Away Events

Most of the area of schools have either restricted all spectator participation and/or limited spectators to the home fans only (due to the 50 person max capacity limitation).  It is unlikely spectator attendance will be permitted for indoor activities this spring at other area schools.

Viewing Games Remotely

The district will be launching two additional Facebook accounts for the spring sports season so that games can be broadcast via Facebook Live so that parents and family can watch the action free of charge.  All home games will be broadcast via Facebook Live for WHS and WJHS.  All away games will be broadcast on Facebook Live with the permission of the host school.  Please note, some school districts have prohibited all live streaming of school events.  The links to the new Facebook Accounts will be shared on our main district Facebook page as soon as they are created and up and running.  The links will be available before the first contest for each Westville sport.

Health and Safety Guidelines for Extra-Curricular Activities

Because most schools are not allowing spectators from visiting schools, students participating in extra-curricular activities will be required to ride the school bus to and from each away contest.

Parents should communicate with their coach about the best phone contact in case of a need to get in touch.  Coaches and/or school administration will contact 911 in case of a medical emergency, however easy access to parent phone numbers will assist with transportation, minor injuries, and/or other miscellaneous issues that may require parental notice.

COVID Issues Regarding Quarantine and an Athlete Who May Test Positive

The district is very excited about the opportunity to resume extra-curricular activities, however increasing our opportunities for students obviously increases the potential for COVID-19 transmission.  While reasonable safety measures will be put in place with all extra-curricular guidelines, the nature of many sport activities will involve close physical contact where social distancing cannot be maintained and contact tracing for close contacts may be difficult to conduct.  Because of these reasons, if a student-athlete tests positive for COVID-19 all team members and all school and sport activities will be suspended until the appropriate quarantine period has elapsed for the positive student-athlete and the entire team, so that they may quarantine according to guidelines put forth by IDPH and in accordance with our local Vermilion County Health Department.  This means that a portion of the season may have to be re-scheduled and/or cancelled altogether depending on how health conditions warrant.  Likewise, other schools may have similar COVID issues that could cause them to re-schedule and/or cancel games.  Please help our students sustain these activities for as much as possible by following common sense safety guidelines both at school, at home, and in the community.