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More spectators possible soon

The federal district court decision that steps taken by Gov. Tom Wolf and the Department of Health were unconstitutional could mean an easing of spectator limits at school events.

At Monday’s meeting of the Warren County School District school board, member Arthur Stewart made a motion to authorize the superintendent to work out new agreements regarding spectators with other districts as long as those agreements “follow CDC guidelines and maximize spectators’ opportunities.”

That motion was met with unanimous approval and would provide for any changes to limits indoors and out.

“I hope with today’s decision that Gov. Wolf’s restrictions are lifted,” Stewart said. “I hope the public understands that their being shut out of the sporting events was not by the desire of the board or the superintendent. It’s been restricted solely by Gov. Wolf’s 250-person outdoor restriction and 25-person indoor restriction.”

He said facilities like football fields “could have many times that spaced very safely apart.”

Stewart did ask “that the public not rush out to our events. It’s playing out completely outside of our control. To the extent that we have that control, I think it’s the unanimous desire of our board and our administration that we allow more spectators.”

Superintendent Amy Stewart clarified that she would not be making any unilateral decisions with regard to spectators. “This isn’t just a Warren County School District decision either,” she said. “It would have to be collaborative.”

She said she attended the Eisenhower football game on Friday and “could have fit thousands more people out there … and done it appropriately.”

It is not known how the state will respond to the decision.

Another avenue to more spectators is also pending.

The superintendent said a proposal in the Pennsylvania House would provide for local control in decisions regarding spectators.

The bill would “give us the authority to just make the decisions,” she sad. “We’re making good decisions about where to put people in that school every day.”

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