FARGO — Fans will not be allowed to attend athletic events at Fargo Public Schools, West Fargo Public Schools, or St. John Paul II Catholic Schools beginning this Friday, Oct. 16.
Attendance at athletic events at Fargo North, Fargo South, Fargo Davies, West Fargo, West Fargo Sheyenne and Fargo Shanley will be limited to team members and essential personnel only, according to press releases from FPS and WFPS, and a letter sent to parents and families at JPII schools.
These policy changes come in conjunction with new recommendations by North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum and the North Dakota Department of Health. Cass County was moved up to the orange or "high risk" level on the state's official COVID-19 risk gauge on Wednesday.
"We heard the guidance from the state (Wednesday) and had a conference meeting this morning," Fargo Public Schools Director of Student Activities Todd Olson said Thursday. "We decided that for those of us in Cass County, this is how we needed to proceed."
Olson said fans will not be allowed at FPS athletic events until the county moves back down into the yellow or "moderate risk" range.
"We certainly didn't want to have to go here, but we feel the need to follow the guidelines from the North Dakota Department of Health," Olson said.
"We think the most important thing is that our kids have the opportunity to compete."
FPS said it will make streams available on each schools’ YouTube page. Many Shanley events are available on the Shanley TV YouTube page and at shanleytv.com. And WFPS says it will make streaming available whenever possible through its schools' YouTube pages or third-party vendors.
"We understand how disappointing this is for our families and fans, but it is the best decision in support of the health of our coaches, administrators, fans, and most importantly, our student-athletes," reads the release from WFPS. "We will continue to monitor the directives and guidelines of the North Dakota Department of Health, Fargo-Cass Public Health, and the North Dakota High School Activities Association, and will provide more information as it becomes available."