WCSD provides update on health and safety plans

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The Warren County School District does not plan on making any changes to its health and safety plan this weekend, as they remain tuned in to what has become a very fluid situation.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education released a letter to school districts on Friday confirming that enforcement of the 25/250 indoor/outdoor gathering limits, face coverings and social distancing guidelines is in the hands of the individual school districts.

“School entities remain responsible for enforcing the face covering order and requiring social distancing at school and at all school events, including school sporting events,” the letter from the PDE said. “The administration encourages schools to voluntarily enforce the 25-person indoor and 250-person outdoor gathering limitation while all of us wait for the court to rule on the stay request.”

This comes on the heels of a decision Monday, Sept. 14, by United States District Judge William Stickman IV who ruled that some of the Wolf administration’s pandemic policies, including the gathering limits, were unconstitutional. The Wolf administration is appealing the decision.

“There are two different activities we are keeping our eye on right now,” said Warren County Superintendent Amy Stewart. “The Butler vs. Wolf case and the expected veto of HB 2787 with the potential for an override. The court case is very broad and although there may be a tiny window of time where we could disregard a lot of different aspects of our health and safety plan, we are not going to make changes for anything this weekend.

“I was in contact with my fellow superintendents regarding football games in the next few days, and they are also not making immediate changes. We have a home football game at Eisenhower on September 25th, and we will be able to see how both the court case and the HB 2787 vote progress.”

Stewart has been pleased with how protocols have been followed in the early part of the season, and said that the district is prepared and ready for whatever comes next.

“The administration and Board want to allow more fans, but it certainly will not look ‘normal’ if and when that time comes,” Stewart said. “I was present at the opening game for Eisenhower, and I was very impressed with the fans that were able to attend. Social distancing was practiced, everyone wore face coverings, and everyone was very respectful of the rule.

“People expressed that they were simply happy the day finally came where the kids could play. We started working on guidelines some time ago assuming the day might come where we can structure our own events, so we will be ready.”