Local schools prepare to welcome more fans at games with expanded crowd limits

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — New rules from Governor Wolf means game time at local schools will look a lot different.

Crowd sizes are now allowed to be much larger — but health leaders and athletic directors alike say safety comes first.

On Tuesday, the governor and Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine issued new rules about crowd sizes based on maximum occupancy limits.

ELCO Athletic Director Douglas Bohannon said it’s an exciting step for many families in the district.

“It’s tough to play in an empty gym and not have parents there,” Bohannon said. “Parents are very supportive of their children of course. This is sort of a little relief to have those student-athletes have their parents in attendance.”

Cumberland Valley Athletic Director Mike Craig agrees.

“We can’t ease up on the safety precautions. But it does give relief as far as people being able to come in and watch their kids,” Craig said.

Both emphasize that safety will remain a top priority, even with more fans at games.

“You wear the mask and you social distance. Every day that we can play is a bonus in my opinion. Our goal is to continue playing and that’s what we’re striving for,” Bohannon said.

Fans or not, it’s all about keeping student-athletes in the game.

“One of the things that I see this year more than any other year is an appreciation for the game. A lot of kids, I see a lot of smiles on their faces. I think they’re happy to be playing,” Craig said.

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