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Revised spectator limits ease restrictions on schools, supporters

More than a month after the PIAA requested expanded spectator limits for high school athletic contests, Gov. Tom Wolf has complied, giving local schools the ability to allow up to 25% of maximum capacity for outdoor events and up to 20% for indoor events.

The relaxed restrictions, announced Tuesday morning, go into effect Friday and will lessen restrictions on schools hosting athletic events.

It will also ease restrictions placed on indoor girls volleyball and boys and girls water polo.

For outdoor gatherings, venues that hold up to 2,000 people can allow 25% of capacity. Venues which hold between 2,001-10,000 can allow 20% of capacity. Venues of over 10,000 can allow 10% of capacity, up to a maximum of 7,500 people.

For indoor gathers, venues which hold up to 2,000 people can allow 20% capacity. Venues which hold between 2,001-10,000 can allow 15% capacity. Venues of over 10,000 can allow 10% capacity, with a maximum of 3,750 people.

“Pennsylvanians must continue to social distance and wear masks as we prepare to fight the virus through the fall and winter,” Wolf said. “Regardless of the size of an event or gathering, those things are still imperative to stopping the spread of COVID.”

Venues must require attendees to comply with six-foot social distancing requirements, to wear masks or face coverings, and to implement best practices such as timed entry, multiple entry and exit points, multiple restrooms and hygiene stations.

The orders amend two sections of the July 15 mitigation order and include a “maximum occupancy calculator” for both indoor and outdoor events.
Occupancy limits are based on established figures as defined by the National Fire Protection Association Life Safety Code.

“We know everyone has sacrificed in many ways and today’s announcement reflects a gradual adjustment to our lives as we learn how we can do things safely until we have a cure, or an effective vaccine is widely available,” Wolf said.

“We will closely monitor cases and outbreaks and if our case investigation and contact tracing efforts determine that events or gatherings are the source of an outbreak, we can and will dial back these new limits,” state Secretary of Health Dr. Levine said. “Public health and safety are our first concern and will always remain as such.”

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