New county health rules for school, rec sports allow two spectators for home and away players

Editor’s note: This press release was provided by the Westchester County Health Department.

(White Plains, NY) – The Westchester County Health Department has issued guidance on the New York State requirements for spectators at school and recreation sports.  The most dramatic change is that student athletes are now allowed to have two spectators at sporting events, as long as social distancing can still be accomplished and occupancy is still at 50 percent.

However, schools and recreation centers still reserve the right to have a stricter interpretation and stricter guidelines. Prior to this change, it was only two spectators per player for the home team only.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer said: “We are being consistent with New York State guidance first and foremost.  We understand that youth sports are family events, and the families of Westchester have been through a lot these past 12 months.  We want the family to be included and we want the student athlete to be supported by their families.  We feel we can open youth sporting events a bit more and do so safely.”

County Health Commissioner Dr. Sherlita Amler said: “We understand that parents want to see their children play sports, this is a huge part of our culture and parents should be involved in their children’s lives.  As long as social distancing is observed, and masks are worn, we can accomplish both goals – safety and involvement.”

Following the NYS Guidance (https://www.governor.ny.gov/sites/governor.ny.gov/files/atoms/files/SportsAndRecreationMasterGuidance.pdf), page 6:

“For spectators, the following additional safety measures apply:

  • For sports events (e.g. games), Responsible Parties must limit spectators to two spectators per player.
  • Responsible Parties must ensure spectators maintain six feet of physical distance between individuals and/or family/household units at all times and all spectators must wear face coverings when they are in common areas and situations where six feet of distancing is not able to be maintained, so long as they are over the age of two and medically able to tolerate such covering.
  • Responsible Parties may facilitate appropriate distancing through the use of markings on the ground or seating areas, and other signage.
  • Responsible Parties must ensure that, among all spectators, no individual group exceeds the gathering limit that is currently in place for the region.
  • Responsible Parties may facilitate appropriate gathering size through the use of signage and/or staff to ensure groups are aware of and adhere to guidelines.”