January 25, 2021

Governor lifts sports spectator limits

Thursday Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds issued a new public health disaster proclamation that lifts some restrictions previously imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of today Jan. 8, high school sports activities are no longer required to limit spectators to the participants’ household members. Social distancing guidelines and face covering guidelines will still apply.

“While we are excited to welcome our community and guests back to support our student athletes, all guests must follow social distancing and face covering guidelines,” Creston Community Schools Superintendent Deron Stender said. “Starting tomorrow night, no tickets are needed to attend our home events.”

Previously, Iowa high schools were directed to allow only two spectators per athlete. In her Dec. 16 proclamation, Reynolds allowed all members of each participant’s household to attend — participants were considered athletes, coaches, pep band members or staff members.

This change in policy comes just in time for tonight’s home basketball games against Denison-Schleswig. Varsity girls basketball begins at 6 p.m. with boys varsity at 7:30 p.m.

Spectators will still be limited in order to comply with social distancing guidelines.

“We ask for everyone’s patience and support as we create a safe environment for all participants and spectators,” Stender said. “We will carefully monitor social distancing practices and will notify our community and guests of any changes.”

Other restrictions

Other restrictions previously imposed by the governor will remain in place until Feb. 6 unless lifted or extended by an additional proclamation.

Masks are required for those 2 years and older when inside a space open to the public where they will be within 6 feet of others who are not in their household for 15 minutes or longer.

Seniors and other vulnerable Iowans are urged to continue to avoid activities outside their homes, while all Iowans are encouraged to avoid gatherings where social distancing is not possible and where face covering guidelines are not being followed.

Employers are required to take steps to allow employees to work remotely when feasible and take precautions to ensure the health and safety of their employees and members of the public.

Restaurants and bars are required to ensure 6-foot distances between groups and to require face masks for patrons who are not seated — including while playing games or dancing. Employees who interact with the public are required to wear masks.

Casinos, gaming centers, fitness centers, senior centers, salons, barbershops, theaters, malls and other establishments must continue to follow social distancing and face mask guidelines.

Restrictions have not changed for schools, hospitals and dental facilities.

Read the entire proclamation at https://tinyurl.com/1-7iowagov


Reporter, columnist, teacher, children's book author, book store owner - Regina Smith has a wide range of experience in writing and education. She combines those interests and experiences to cover city and county government and human interest stories as well as writing a biweekly column in her home town of Creston, Iowa.