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IPS implements COVID-19 precautions at sporting events

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Friday night high school football is back and so are COVID-19 sporting event safety precautions in Indianapolis. 

Indianapolis Public Schools said athletes, students and fans should expect limited capacity at sporting events, masks inside and social distancing outside.

According to IPS sports policy, outdoor high school sports are at a reduced capacity of 50% and indoor high school sports are at 25% capacity. The district said K-8th will only allow parents, guardians and siblings to attend indoor sporting events.

All students participating in IPS sports also had to sign a risk acknowledgment form before starting the season, detailing the potential risks involved with COVID-19.

“Administrators are having meetings, school leaders are having meetings all the time about what the latest guidance is, what we can do best. The district has changed the mask policy here and there. So, we are always on our Ps and Qs and looking out for what is best. But at the same time, we are excited for our student-athletes and participants and the families as well of our participants. So you know, we try to stay positive, keep moving forward and make sure we keep safety as our number one priority as well,” said Darren Thomas, IPS district director of athletics.

The district said they have contact tracing policies in place for students and staff. They are confident other school districts will also follow their safety measures when visiting.

IPS said last year went well and they’re hopeful this year will, too.

“We are confident in the protocols we have. We have great athletic trainers who are staying on top of it as well. Great coaches and administrators across the board, so we are feeling pretty good about where we stand. Excited to move forward for our students,” said Thomas.

The district said more students are participating in fall sports this season than last year. Most teams were able to practice over the summer too and staff said that is keeping spirits up, through the pandemic.