MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - A rise in coronavirus cases in the state is forcing health officials to urge school leaders to limit the number of fans at indoor winter sporting events.
Alabama Department of Public Health officials released the new guidance this week.
Officials now recommend the total number of spectators to be limited to less than 20 percent of usual capacity at indoor sporting events.
Leaders are also encouraged to have players and officials sanitize their hands each time they enter or leave the court in any sport with hand-to-hand contact or contact with a shared object like a ball.
Hosting schools are encouraged to make a public announcement at the beginning of each game, as well as during intermissions, reminding fans to maintain at least six feet of distance between themselves and other, and to keep their face masks on at all times while in the venue.
Officials are requesting that players, their families and coaches should refrain from organizing non-sport related activities.
If an event participant or officials is diagnosed with COVID-19 with two days after the event, health officials say the opposite team and officials should be contacted to “determine the need for quarantine among individuals in that group.”
Health officials are asking athletics associations to “encourage and empower sporting event officials to delay the start of an event or suspend competition whenever spectators are not complying with social distancing guidelines or proper wearing of face coverings or masks.”
The state reported another 4,107 cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the state’s seven-day average up to 3,636 per day as the virus rages on.