Shortly before Thanksgiving, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds put out a proclamation restricting attendance to high school sports around the state, limiting it to two spectators per participant.
In December, Reynolds twice loosened restrictions and the final proclamation was set to expire on Friday, Jan. 8.
On Thursday, instead of having it expire, Reynolds updated the proclamation and it went into effect on Friday. In the update, Reynolds eliminated any spectator enforcement by her, leaving the decision on whether to limit attendance up to the schools and conferences around the state.
Masks are still required at high school and youth sporting events around the state and social distancing requirements are still in effect.
On Friday, the IHSAA and IGHSAU both updated their COVID-19 general guidance for the winter of 200-21 to mirror the changes in Gov. Reynolds' updated proclamation.
Little notice was given, so conferences and schools are still adjusting as they see fit.
On Friday afternoon, Bishop Heelan athletics announced on Twitter (@bhcs_athletics) that the school is still "currently assessing capacity in the O'Gorman Fieldhouse to ensure that we are abiding by social distancing guidelines." Bishop Heelan announced they will share its new attendance policy next week.
Heelan and O'Gorman Fieldhouse are not hosting any home games on Friday and Saturday.
The next event at O'Gorman Fieldhouse isn't until a girls' basketball reserve game and a boys' freshman basketball game on Monday, Jan. 18. The next varsity contest is a doubleheader against East on Tuesday, Jan. 19.
East tweeted out (@blackraidersehs) "The Governor released a new proclamation that goes into effect today that states spectator limits for sporting and recreational gatherings, including high school sponsored events will be lifted." No further details were given about potential spectator limitations if any. The same thing was tweeted out by West @whs_activities) and North (@siouxcitynorth).
The Sergeant Bluff-Luton girls' basketball team traveled to MMCRU on Friday and SB-L tweeted (@sblpride) that attendance will not be restricted for the game.
On Saturday, the Sergeant Bluff-Luton wrestling team is traveling to Atlantic and two fans per wrestler are allowed at the event.
Le Mars announced on Twitter (@LCHSBulldogs) it has lifted the two spectators per participant rule. However, after consulting with Plymouth County Public Heath, Le Mars will be limiting attendance to six spectators per athlete, team personnel and cheerleaders. Dance team members also get six names on the pass list to attend only for their half time performance. Junior varsity spectators are required to leave unless their student is participating in the varsity contest.
The Kingsley-Pierson Twitter account (@kingsley-pierson) announced that because of the late notice from the Governor regarding event attendance, the Western Valley Conference will continue to use the guidance previously in place for middle school and high school events until Sunday, January 17.
School districts in the WVC are only allowed to provide tickets to "members of the household that the athlete/performer reside under the same roof with OR two tickets. Not both for one athlete. If a family has a household attend the game, they are not permitted to give two additional tickets to others for that participant.
"If a family has two participants, they get two allotments and are not limited to a single household. A student who is living in two homes would be allowed to have passes for members of both households. If a participant has a divided household (i.e. the parents have joint custody), both halves of the family art part of the participant's household."
Spectators have to leave once their participants are finished competing and spectator rules include players, cheerleaders, dance teams and coaches.
According to the Sheldon High School athletics Twitter account (@orabsAD), the Siouxland Conference is moving to a 50 percent capacity for winter activities.
Newell-Fonda tweeted (@NFMustangs) that the school will lift the two-ticket restriction for home events. The school did ask that if you are not feeling well or have any COVID-19 symptoms to stay home or if you have been around anyone with symptoms, to stay home.