High school sports spectators to return

Rob Maeske
The Chronicle-Express

Two spectators per athlete to be allowed at home games

After new guidance from Yates County Public Health, Penn Yan and Dundee central school districts have announced that as of Feb. 22, two spectators per athlete will be allowed to attend home athletic events.

The Department of Health had originally decided and announced at the beginning of the recently allowed winter sports season that no spectators would be permitted to attend events in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The schools' new announcement applies only to home contests, as other counties and schools within those counties have their own regulations regarding attendance. For both Penn Yan and Dundee, the new attendance rules are for all levels of scholastic sports, from Modified up through Varsity.

The limit of two spectators per student athlete will be strictly enforced, and all potential spectators must sign up to attend through the athlete's coach in advance. Communication between coaches and parents is vital as coaches will need at least 24 hours prior notice to assure that every potential spectator is recorded and can then be admitted to the event. Spectators who are not signed up for an event in advance will not be allowed to attend.

"Working with the Department of Health, we came to this decision... that's what's going to be safe and what we can accommodate in our buildings," said Penn Yan Academy Athletic Director Jonathan MacKerchar in a statement released on the Penn Yan Athletics Facebook page.

Dundee also released its announcement on its Facebook page, thanking Yates County Public Health for working with the schools to allow some in-person attendance.

For those who will not be allowed to attend events, games are still being streamed live from their respective schools' Facebook pages, "Penn Yan Athletics" and "Dundee Central School District." Check those pages for upcoming times and dates of live streamed events.