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Submitted by Keith Gudehus, 6-12 Assistant Principal, Knox County Middle/High School Athletics and Activities Director
Dear Knox County Community,
As you are all well aware, these past 7 months have presented challenges beyond anything most of us could have ever imagined. Our local schools and sports programs are not immune to these challenges and, in many ways, are even more vulnerable to the obstacles posed by COVID-19. The purpose of this letter is to publicize our plans for the winter sports season. While we remain hopeful that conditions will change for the better, the current forecasts do not provide much reason for optimism.
In coordination with our local health department and other schools in our region, we have determined that the best mitigation strategy for keeping our teams healthy is to limit the number of spectators for indoor events. Consequently, we are limiting our nightly attendance to approximately 40% of seating capacity in our high school gym. That percentage translates to roughly 100 spectators for our home crowd and 50 for our visitors. The school will provide tickets to our coaches, student-athletes, cheerleaders, and band members who are then free to provide those tickets to invited guests. We will be charging for entry, but you will not be able to purchase admission without a student-issued ticket. Gates will not open until 30 minutes prior to game time. We will livestream varsity games on YouTube for free on our channel (Knox R1), with the broadcast beginning at approximately 5:45.
For those of you who are able to attend in person, we will not have concessions. You are welcome to bring covered, non-alcoholic drinks and snacks into the gym. Home spectator seating will be limited to the east side of the gym only (the side opposite the scorer’s table) in order to provide separation from the visiting community. Due to the indoor setting and the relatively high concentration of people, we are highly encouraging masks and social distancing between households.
It is only through our joint efforts that our kids will have an opportunity to stay healthy and compete, and this must be our number one priority. We will continue to isolate and quarantine in accordance with Center for Disease Control (CDC), MSHSAA, and local health department guidance in order to achieve that goal. Our students, especially those in their final year of high school performances and competitions, deserve our best efforts and every opportunity to complete their seasons successfully.
Thank you again for your continued support, understanding and patience as we navigate these challenging times.
Knox County R-1 School District