Algonquin announced last night that the school and its regional league will soon lift most attendance restrictions. For over a month now, only family members/households of student-athletes have been allowed to attend ARHS sports events (even away games). That will change this Friday.
The announcement comes just in time for the public to cheer for Gonk Basketball at TD Garden this weekend.
I should point out that while the announcement below refers to Sunday games as “the first event students can attend after this change,” there are actually other events scheduled for Saturday, including wrestling, gymnastics, and women’s hockey. (You can see the university schedule here.)
There are also indoor swimming/diving and running events on Fridays and Saturdays, but the report indicates that attendance restrictions for these sports are “status quo” for now.
Here’s a message from director Sean Bevan:
Beginning Friday, January 28, 2022, Algonquin Regional High School and the Mid-Wah League will lift restrictions on student spectators, once again allowing students, families, and the general public to attend athletic events. At present, restrictions on spectators at swimming and indoors are the status quo. Along with Director of Athletics Mike Mocherino, I am delighted to welcome our fans back to the games and I am grateful for their patience and that of our winter sports athletes as we put in place restrictions in response to the surge in positive cases. COVID-19.
As excited as our fans are to be back at the games, it’s critical that the school community implement mitigation strategies that we know are effective in reducing the transmission of COVID-19. To that end, all face mask guidelines set by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA), and local health departments will remain in place during sports. Spectators who do not wear masks properly (covering their mouth and nose) are subject to a warning and / or exclusion from sports competitions.
The first activity students can attend after this change is a big one: our girls and boys basketball teams are playing Nashoba at TD Garden this Sunday, January 30th. Here are the details:
- The girls will play at 10:00.
- The boys’ game starts at 11:30.
- Tickets for the games are $20 and can be purchased from the athletics office starting Wednesday and during all three Thursday and Friday lunch breaks.
Please note the following important information regarding TD Garden’s spectator policy:
- All guests aged 12 years and over must present a proof of vaccination (at least 1 dose of vaccine) in order to be allowed to enter the TD Garden.
- Evidence of a negative test for COVID-19 will not be accepted for entry.
- All guests aged 2 and over must wear a mask indoors unless they are eating or drinking.
- For more information click on https://www.tdgarden.com/playitsafe.
Thank you again for your patience and understanding as we have been working with our teams and our Mid-Wach colleagues over the past few weeks to ensure that our events run healthy and safe. We are happy that our fans – the best in Mid Wah – can return to our games to support their friends and our school.
On December 21, the school announced restrictions on in-person attendance at home basketball games that evening. The decision was based on the spike in Covid cases at the school. The following day, it was announced in an email that the restriction would be extended to all ARHS sports events on the road or at home. The decision will be reviewed in early January. As students returned to school and cases in schools and the community skyrocketed, the administration announced that they and the Mid-Wah League had voted to continue with the restrictions.
Since then, the surge seems to have peaked. Although the number of cases in the high school (and in all three districts) is still high compared to most of the school year, they have dropped significantly since the beginning of this month. (The data in the graph on the right includes the daily count up to last night. (Although the last bar represents 6 days, not a full week, it is still clearly much lower than the last 6/7 weekly counts.)
Based on other media reports, this seems to be consistent with the state’s figures. Last week I wrote that the number of residents of the city of Southborough seems to have reached its peak. This trend continued with the latest data released by the city on Monday. (See chart below.)
(You can see more data and charts for the city’s latest count here.)