Auditorium doors nudged open at Greencastle-Antrim High School

Shawn Hardy
Echo Pilot

The doors to the Greencastle-Antrim High School auditorium are being cracked open a year into the COVID-19 pandemic.

The auditorium had been basically off-limits, but it is being opened on a limited basis to district students, families and staff based on the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Dr. Lura Hanks, superintendent, said at the April 1 school board meeting.

Hanks also talked about outdoor activities in a brief spring health and safety update.

This slide from Dr. Lura Hanks' presentation at the April 1 Greencastle-Antrim School Board meeting shows the district's current approach to the use of the auditorium and outdoor events during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the auditorium

The district wants to provide band, music and theater students the same opportunities that student-athletes have had as many sports resumed during the pandemic.

Just like restrictions have been in place for sporting events, there are limitations on use of the auditorium.

"We still want to maintain control," Hanks said, explaining the district needs to be able to do contact tracing for every event in case someone who attended tests positive for COVID-19.

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There will be tickets with assigned seats for events held in the auditorium, with a maximum of 250 occupants.

Families will be able to sit together, but must be 6 feet away from other families.

The woodwind ensemble is shown recording its portion of the Greencastle-Antrim High School winter concert on Dec. 14, 2020. Opening the auditorium to limited use will allow some in-person events this spring.

Outdoor events

Schools have done a good job keeping students grouped in "pods" during the year. This limits their contact with others to prevent the spread of the virus and to enable contact tracing. Hanks said that will continue with outdoor events this spring with no intermingling of groups.

Spectators are allowed at events, but they need to be 6 feet apart and masked. The district follows state guidelines concerning capacity limits.