Protest held outside football game about stricter COVID-19 rules in Orange County

Orange County News

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (WNCN) — When people pulled into Friday night’s game at Orange High School in Hillsborough, they were met by people gathered outside of the student parking lot.

“[I’m] out here advocating for the students who put this together themselves. They are tired of the masks the mandates and not being able to support their football team,” said Orange High School parent, Tonya McFalls.

Students, parents and community members gathered for a protest ahead of the kickoff.

They were also upset after a tailgate planned for Friday night’s game was canceled.

The school district said in an email to CBS 17 that they found out through social media.

They also sent a memo to families stating they did not endorse it and that moving forward “there will not be any tailgates on any Orange County Schools property under current health and safety guidelines.”

“Students are frustrated. There have been protests at the last four or five school board meetings and the community really needs to step up,” said Codie Snipes, a senior at Orange High.

However, Orange County Schools said they are working to keep everyone safe.

The school district also said on its website that they are doing this because of high transmission rates and because kids under 12 can’t get a vaccine.

This week the school district updated COVID-19 protocols for fall sports. It states on the Orange County Schools website:

TICKETS: Currently, students (i.e., athletes, marching band, etc.) participating in Fall 2021 games will receive two guest tickets for each game. Schools will coordinate providing tickets to students prior to each event.

Students participating on behalf of all guest teams will also receive two tickets per student participant.

PARKING & TICKET COLLECTION: To ensure parking for all ticket holders, tickets will be collected upon entry to OCS parking lots. No one will be allowed on school property without a verified ticket. Board-approved safety guidelines apply to all school property including parking lots. Therefore, tailgating is not currently allowed.

MONEY COLLECTION: Each school will communicate where entry fees will be collected. As a reminder, there will be no concessions sold at any games or events at this time.

MASKS: Until further notice, all fans must be masked upon entry to the game and throughout the entire game. Masks are required on and off the field of play for high- and medium-risk athletes regardless of vaccination status. Marching band performers will wear specialized band masks and bell covers when they perform and regular masks at all other times. (More Specific Details)

PHYSICAL DISTANCING: Current guidance is that all non-household guests must maintain a physical distance of 3 feet or to the greatest extent possible.

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