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School officials urge safety at high school sporting events

Published: Mar. 5, 2021 at 6:58 PM EST
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NEW BERN, N.C. (WITN) - Schools across Eastern Carolina are urging spectators to be safe and heed COVID-19 precautions ahead of the second week of high school football.

Right now North Carolina is allowing fans to fill stadiums at 30% capacity, and at New Bern High School keeping social distancing in mind equates to just over 500 fans.

But Craven County Schools Athletic Director Debbie Hodges says before parents, and other fans can find a seat in the stadium they must purchase tickets in advance.

“When our fans arrive they will be checked as far as COVID screening questions and their temperature will be checked, they need to be aware of that, we also are requiring masks to be worn during the entire time they are in the stadium,” said Hodges.

The high schools will also be enforcing social distancing, and say standing along the fences of the field is also off-limits. Hodges explained that they understand it can be difficult to stay distanced when cheering on your team.

“It is going to be a challenge because we want to get together and socialize and talk, that’s a big part of athletics the social piece of it, but we must ensure that folks are being safe,” said Hodges.

For New Bern Head Football Coach Torrey Nowell, fans doing their part is what will help keep the players focused on the game.

We just want them to follow the rules, I want you to be able to stay in the game to cheer on your favorite player,” explained Nowell.

Right now the NC General Assembly is looking at expanding capacity at sporting events to 50% but that bill is still in the works and would need Governor Roy Cooper’s signature before taking effect.

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