Pasco County Schools to expand capacity limits at events
Orange County schools will soon open amid uncertainty and unease by students and teachers. Image via AP.

Covid-19 AP photo
The revised rules were established after Pasco County experienced a decline in local COVID-19 cases and infection rates.

Pasco County Schools are implementing new rules to allow for more spectators at school sporting and performing arts events, the district announced Monday.

The new rules will allow 50% capacity at all outdoor events, including both athletic and performing arts events. Masks will still be required at outdoor events while entering and leaving the venue, and when leaving seats to visit the concession stand or restroom. However, masks are not required when seated.

Indoor athletic events will be limited to four spectators for each athlete, which is double the number of spectators currently allowed. Indoor performing arts events will be limited to up to four audience members per performer, with a 50% capacity.

Spectators and audience members will also be required to maintain appropriate social distance with anyone other than direct family members.

“We want parents and friends to be able to attend school events, so long as it can be done safely,” Pasco County Superintendent Kurt Browning said in a news release. “With all decisions we make, our first priority is the health and safety of our student, staff and families.”

Since the start of the school year, Pasco County has reported 1,610 student cases and 677 staff cases, which has in turn forced 21,264 students and 1,723 staff members into quarantine.

The revised rules were established after Pasco County experienced a decline in local COVID-19 cases and infection rates. The rules were established after consultation with the Pasco Department of Health, according to the district.

This is another move by Pasco County to begin resuming operations amid the pandemic.

The county will also resume criminal and civil jury trials on March 15 — a decision based on the county’s weekly positivity rates declining from 9.6% for the period from Jan. 17 to Jan. 23 to 7.5% for the period from Jan. 31 to Feb. 6.

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected]


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