DENVER (KDVR) — It’s been a strange fall sports season for many high school athletes in Colorado, and it almost got stranger with an initial ruling that fans would not be allowed at the upcoming CHSAA football championship games.
However, on Tuesday morning the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced that it had modified its position.
This weekend, 75 fans per team will be allowed to attend the championship games, which are being held in Pueblo.
“Our qualifying teams, school communities and staff were anxious about receiving a favorable decision,” said CHSAA commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green. “We submitted our reconsideration request on Friday and have spent numerous days asking our stakeholders and media partners to be patient. We are a small piece of the puzzle within the many decisions being made by state officials in these challenging times.”
The modification to allow 75 fans per side lines up with CDPHE’s limit on outdoor seated events outlined in the state’s COVID-19 dial.
CDPHE initially prohibited fans at Saturday’s games because of the positivity rate in central Colorado. CDPHE said 1 in 29 people is infected with COVID-19 in central Colorado, including in Pueblo where the games will be played.
As for who gets a ticket, CDPHE said that decision will be made at a local level by schools participating in Saturday’s games.
Those who attend must follow COVID-19 guidelines. Fans from different households must stay six feet apart. The groups of 75 must enter and exit from different access points and utilize different facilities. CDPHE emphasized the importance of making sure fans from opposing sides have zero contact in order to make sure the two groups qualify as “separate events.” Lastly, all spectators, including non-active participants like coaches, officials and staff, must wear masks without exception.