ADPH: attendance likely will be ‘significantly reduced’ at high school sporting events

Published: Aug. 7, 2020 at 10:15 PM CDT
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By WBRC Staff | August 7, 2020 at 6:08 PM CDT - Updated August 7 at 7:56 PM

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - High school athletic events are scheduled to start in the fall, but as far as fan attendance goes, the Alabama Department of Public Health said attendance likely will be significantly reduced.

Under the state’s current Safer at Home public health order:

“Players, coaches, officials, and spectators may not congregate within 6 feet of a person from another household except to the extent necessary, and only to the extent necessary, for players, coaches, and officials to directly participate in the athletic activity.”

ADPH leaders say that six-foot distancing rule for spectators likely will significantly reduce attendance at most football stadiums and at many other sports venues.

Spectators must wear a mask or other facial covering that covers the nostrils and mouth at all times while within 6 feet of person from another household.

Limited exceptions are allowed, such as for children who have not yet entered second grade and for people with medical conditions that prevent them from wearing a facial covering.

State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris noted that the AHSAA in its memo Thursday said that Best Practices guidance the association issued last month “was created to mitigate, not eliminate, the risk of COVID-19.”

The memo issued Thursday says schools are “strongly encouraged to establish and follow policies for limiting event attendance in order to comply” with the current public health order, and to require fans to wear facial coverings while entering and exiting the gates, while in the stands, and elsewhere.

Dr. Harris stressed that the current public health order applies to schools and school-related events. In addition, all persons with symptoms and all persons with known exposure to a COVID-19 positive case must quarantine for at least 14 days.

If you are awaiting test results for COVID-19, the ADPH said should also remain at home until you receive results and guidance from you physician, healthcare provider, or the health department.

According to the ADPH having a negative test does not eliminate the requirement for home quarantine when persons are in close contact to a COVID-19 positive case or remain symptomatic without another diagnosis.

Retesting to obtain negative results, after having COVID-19 infection, is not recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or by the Alabama Department of Public Health. For more information, visit

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