Will USD 259 fans get to sit in the stands soon?

Coronavirus in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The rate of positive cases in Sedgwick County is below 6%. When you take that and combine it with USD 259’s grating criteria, the district would be in the yellow zone. This means moderate restrictions. 

When the board voted to allow sports last month, Wichita was in the orange zone and fans were banned, but in the yellow, they are not.

The district’s athletic director said there is a plan in place to bring back fans, but health officials and board members said it’ll have to wait until October 5.

“We worked so hard to be able to let them play now we want to watch them play,” said Jessica Davis.

Whether it’s from a distance or live stream, Davis said she misses watching her son play.

“They play better I think when there are fans in the crowd, I know my son does for one.”

Bishop Carroll is a school that allows some fans. The athletic director said spectators are following the guidelines of staying socially distanced and wearing masks when walking around. 

“It’s better than the alternative of no fans, or not playing at all and we’re constantly reminding our parents and our students-athletes about that, that let’s do the right thing with fans at the games,” said Bishop Carroll athletic director Tyler Fraizer.

The decision to have fans at USD 259 games is up to the board.

Board member Ron Rosales brought it up during the board meeting. He said he supports it, but there is not much support from the rest of the board yet, because they want to see the numbers stabilize a little longer.

Board President Sheril Logan said that discussion will be at the October 5th meeting. She said they are watching the COVID-19 numbers and are pleased they are going down. She also said she wants to remind people to wear masks, socially distance, and take other precautions so kids can get back in school for the second nine weeks if possible.

The Sedgwick County Health Department said, “Sedgwick County has been below 7% for maybe a week but that data is still preliminary. As we continue to receive test results, this data may change. The request to allow fans would need to be answered by USD. 259. Health and safety is our top priority – social distancing, wearing a mask, good hand hygiene may be a challenge once crowd sizes grow.”

But when the time comes to bring back fans, USD 259 athletic director J. Means said he’s ready with a plan.

“Two, four tickets per family, that usually keeps the numbers down lower than the 25%,” said Means. “I was a parent, I understand, but you know this is a little different time.”

Means said he will jump over other hurdles when he gets the approval to from the board.

Parent Davis said she hopes it happens before the season ends.

“We want to watch them play and not so far away, that’s I think our biggest goal,” she said.

County health officials said another few weeks will show the impact from Labor Day, so by the next board meeting in October, the board may be able to make the decision for fans if the numbers continue to decline.

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