Woodland Park Panther Football Games To Allow Fan Participation

photo by CR Chambers

RE-2 District Gets Hit With Another COVID-19 Case

~ by Trevor Phipps ~

Woodland Park area football fans may be permitted in the stands during live games to root for or against the Panthers.

Last week, Woodland Park’s RE-2 School District officials held meetings to tackle the issue of whether fans would be allowed at home football games or not. After the meetings, the team of officials believes they came up with a plan that will let spectators cheer on the Panthers this fall.

According to RE-2 District Superintendent Steve Woolf, fans will be allowed if school officials can come up with a way to properly ensure state-mandated social distancing regulations. The fan seating area must be restricted to 175 people per section.

The superintendent said that his plan is to use another set of bleachers to add more seating. He said that he wants use the extra set of bleachers, and put them on the north end of the field to be used for band members and their families. The other two sets of bleachers will be used for family and fans of the Panthers and the visiting team.

However, since the sections must be limited to a certain capacity, the school must create three different entrances and exits for the three crowds. Woolf also said that two portable bathroom units must be added to the different seating sections, so that nobody will be in close contact with people of a different group.

So, if the school officials are able to pull off their plan by the team’s first home game on October 16, then Panther fans will be able to cheer on their team at their home stadium during their second regular-season game. It is not certain if other schools will be allowing fans in their bleachers, but it looks like fans will at least be allowed during the Panthers’ three scheduled home games this season.

Although the regulations haven’t been finalized, an official decision is expected this week. The superintendent also said that the games might be streamed live online. “I want to try to figure out a way to broadcast these games,” Woolf said. “I may even do Facebook live in order to show people the game starting at the first one in Alamosa.”

RE-2 District Superintendent Steve Woolf

Woolf also said that the school is still watching the new case count numbers closely and making plans to adjust the regulations at the schools accordingly. “We are sticking with Phase Three due to a slight uptick,” Woolf explained. “So, what we did was move it from a medium to high control to Phase Three Low Control. What that means is we can have classrooms of around 25 students. Students now rotate classes and get to go to music and go to art instead of those teachers coming to them. And their lunch and recess will be by grade level. Before recess has just been by cohort groups, but now we will be able to expand that so they can play with other kids in their grades.”

Second COVID-19 Infection

Woolf  also stated that last week the district experienced its  second positive exposure of COVID-19. This occurred in one of their buildings at the middle school. Since a  student, who tested positive for the pandemic, was in the school, they had to require a number of students and staff members to quarantine for two weeks.

“We had three or four teachers out and then we had a group of 16 kids that had to quarantine,” Woolf said.

“And that just shows that our system works. They didn’t get exposed at the middle school but they definitely had it. We had about nine or 10 people that we thought had it that turned out to be negative ,which is great. So, when we have a positive case, we had to take that cohort and their teachers to set them out for a while. They are still learning; they are just working with their teachers online.”

He also said that the school district meets every day to go over information regarding any possible cases of COVID-19. If district officials think that a student tested positive for the disease, then they can easily track every student and teacher that the infected person came into contact with.