Opinion: The administration should work to better enforce often overlooked COVID-19 regulations during sports games to better protect attendees from the threat of infection.
Attending school sports games is a quintessential part of the American high school experience;
these events should not be eliminated under any cost. However, with the threat of COVID-19, certain policies should be modified to maintain safety and ultimately ensure that such events can continue to take place.
Currently, Diamond Bar High School has various regulations set in place for those who attend school sports games such as wearing a mask, maintaining social distance and staying with the group they came with. Nevertheless, these guidelines have not been enforced up to par.
Anybody who walks into one of the home games will quickly realize that the vast majority of viewers have their masks dangling to the side of their face– not being worn appropriately. Not to mention the close proximity in which audience members are seated, despite social distancing requirements.
While it is definitely fun for both the athletes and spectators to see the stands packed, and the school has allowed students to take off their masks in outdoor settings, this is not a health conscious atmosphere and puts everyone in danger, especially now in times of such uncertainty.
It is imperative that spectators wear their masks throughout the duration of the event, unless they’re eating. Afterall large gatherings, such as sports matches, are notorious for spreading contagious diseases, such as COVID-19.
While many people often enter the game with their masks on, it is not unusual for them to take their masks off sometime during the match. Yet, being unmasked, even for a short amount of time, can be hazardous to the health of the audience, especially for those who are unvaccinated.
As a result, social distancing must be strictly monitored. Currently, the school has placed an arrangement of purple dots for the spectators to sit in a socially distanced fashion. However, these small indications are easily overlooked and are not enough to ensure everyone’s safety; the audience must be surveilled to make sure that they are adhering to their assigned locations. If somebody is violating the social distancing guidelines at a game, they should be called out. One step that these attendees can take to ensure their own safety and the safety of those around them is to stay seated in their respective groups, away from people in other groups. If spectators choose to eat during their games, they should do so quickly and put their masks back on once they finish.
An additional threat to the wellbeing of Brahmas attending these large gatherings is students from other schools. Visiting students may unknowingly spread COVID-19 to athletes on the field and spectators in the stands. To help curb this danger, the Diamond Bar administrators and athletic directors should create regulations that strictly prohibit the visiting team from entering the home stands.
Instead, DBHS spectators should be required to stay on one side of the stadium, while the visiting team must stay on the other.
By wearing masks, maintaining social distance, and staying in the assigned school seating, spectators can help ensure the safety and continuity of in-person sports events.