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KCS releases rules for football players, attendees

The school system is taking extra precautions in light of COVID-19, and has changed protocol for capacity, participation, concessions and more.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Knox County Schools released guidelines for both football fans and players on Monday. 

The school system is taking extra precautions in light of COVID-19, and has changed protocol for capacity, participation, concessions and more.

These are what the new protocols dictate in full: 

Football Game Precautions


A. One-third stadium capacity will be allowed based on TSSAA recommendations.

B. Stadium bleachers will be marked off for seating based on TSSAA recommendations.

C. The visiting team will receive an allocation of tickets.


A. Football Teams

1. Home and Away – All players may dress if they can physical distance.

2. Teams should physical distance on the sidelines.

3. Coaches and players who are not participating will be required to wear masks.

B. Band

1. Home – All members may participate if they can physical distance and sit in area away from spectators (end-zone area or other designated area big enough).

2. Away – No bands will travel to away games.

3. Band members should physical distance.

4. Band members will be required to wear masks when not playing.

C. Cheerleaders/Dance

1. All members may attend home and away KCS vs KCS games. Schools will make arrangements with non-KCS schools.

2. All members may participate if they can physical distance at home and away games and stay in designated areas.

D. Freshman and JV games

1. Underclassmen players will be allowed to play under the same regulations outlined for varsity.


A. Ticket prices will be $8.

B. Tickets will be pre-sold by each school.

C. A limited number of tickets will be sold at the ticket gate.


All coaches and athletes should be screened for signs/symptoms of COVID-19 prior to participation. Screening includes temperature check and screening questions: Temperature Check If a student or staff member has a temperature of 100.4 or greater, they will be isolated for further screening and remain there until they can return home.

• All students will have their temperature checked upon arrival. Students with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or greater will be isolated, and then go home if temperature registers 100.4 degrees or greater after rechecks.

• A student with fever and no other symptoms must be fever-free without the assistance of fever- reducing medications for 24 hours before returning to school.

• A student with fever and COVID-19 symptoms must remain home for 72 hours and have met the criteria to discontinue home isolation and have consulted their primary care provider.

Screening Questions to be asked: (answer yes to any of these, player will not be allowed to participate.)

1. Have you been in close contact with an individual with an individual with a confirmed case of Covid-19?

2. Have you had any of the following symptoms in the past 14 days?

a. Fever

b. Cough

c. Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

d. Shaking chills

e. Chest pain, pressure, or tightness with exercise

f. Fatigue or difficulty with exercise

g. Racing heart rate

h. Unusual dizziness

i. Loss of taste or smell

j. Sore throat

k. Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea

l. Unusual rash or painful discoloration of fingers or toes

3. Have you or a family/household member been diagnosed with or tested positive for COVID-19 infection or been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the past 14 days?

If at any time the answer to any question becomes “YES,” the individual should promptly inform the head coach or team trainer.

Protocol for Positive Covid-19 Test

• If the district is made aware that an athlete or coach has tested positive for COVID-19, district officials will immediately notify local health officials.

• The KCS Health Services Department will work with KCHD to initiate contact tracing protocols to determine how widespread the potential exposure is and notify families and staff members impacted.

• If there is an incident on campus that might pose a threat of exposure to COVID-19, families and staff will be notified while maintaining confidentiality.

• A decision will be made in consultation with the KCHD regarding a school(s) closure to allow for additional measures to clean and sanitize the facility, based on the information provided by the reporting party.

• Depending on the nature of the exposure, a recommendation could be limited to specific classrooms or groups.

• Anyone testing positive for COVID-19 must isolate themselves at home for 10 days from the onset of their symptoms or 10 days from the date their test was done if they never developed symptoms. Fever must be gone and they must be feeling better for at least 24 hours.

• Anyone who has been within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for 10 minutes or more must quarantine themselves at home for 14 days from the last time they were with that person. These time periods do not change with a doctor’s note or with a negative test.

Locker Rooms

1. Sanitize locker rooms before and after each use.

2. Communicate with the visiting team about locker room expectations prior to gameday.

• Staggered use by athletes (small groups at time that allows physical distancing)

• Limited time in locker rooms (quick change and then out)

• Use locker rooms primarily as restrooms

• Create team space outside the locker room using easy-up tents

• Require masks in the locker rooms

• Arrive at games dressed, just add helmet and shoulder pads


1. School personnel only on the sidelines.

2. Protocols:

• Spread players out as much as possible

• Limit squad size on Friday nights

• When not playing wear a mask

• Coaches/trainers wear masks

• Players should bring their own water or water should be supplied in which they do not share water bottles or cups

Equipment Cleaning

1. Continue protocols already in place from the Return to Action Plan.

2. Disinfect balls during the game periodically.


Guideline Communication

1. Post entry guidelines outside and inside the facility.

2. Remind spectators about distancing and mask wearing frequently using the PA.

3. Stands must be marked for physical distancing.

Temperature Checks

1. Communicate temperature check protocols to spectators prior to the event.

2. Require masks for temperature checks.

3. Develop a process of dealing with those individuals whose temperatures are too high.

• Provide a shaded cool down area for spectators at temperature checks

• Use multiple entrances to thin crowds


1. Develop a plan to limit the number of spectators in the restroom.

2. Develop a plan to disinfect the restroom during the event.


1. Require mask for service.

2. Designate waiting areas that allow for distancing.

3. Mark off lines with six feet of spacing.

4. Develop a plan for money handlers.

5. Protocols:

• Use prepackaged food and drink

• Use multiple food stations

• Concession staff wear masks and gloves (change gloves frequently)

• Money handlers must wear masks and gloves, but not handle food

Ticket Sales

1. Develop a plan that limits contact between spectators and gate workers.

2. Limit entry to one third stadium capacity.

3. Possible protocols:

• Ticket takers wear masks and gloves

• Pre-sell all tickets

• Pre-sell season tickets

• Send a set number of tickets to the visiting team

• Use online ticketing (GoFan)

• Provide ample time for students to buy tickets


1. Bands will be provided a special seating area away from the spectators (endzone area).

2. Bands will physical distance in their seating area and wear masks, when they are not playing.

3. Bands will not travel to away games.



1. Complete temperature checks prior to boarding bus.

2. Protocols:

• Require riders to wear masks

• Distance riders when possible

• Use extra buses, if necessary

Parent Transportation

1. Follow district rules for parents transporting student-athletes.

2. Complete temperature checks upon arrival at the venue.