Special to the Bulletin
Burnet CISD will be instituting even stronger social distancing measures at the district’s next home football game after concerns were raised by the University Interscholastic League about fan compliance with measures at the Friday, Aug. 28, home opener, Superintendent Keith McBurnett told the community in a letter this week.
The letter from McBurnett reads as follows:
“Dear Burnet CISD Community,
Our first home football game of the season was a special evening, and in talking to many of you, it seems that we all shared the same feelings of excitement and normalcy that were evoked by a Friday night football game. Even though the temperature was warm that night, it felt good to be watching the Bulldogs compete, and even better to walk away with a win.
“The UIL is the governing body for all high school athletic and academic competitions, and on Monday, I received a call from the Deputy Director of UIL. He wanted me to know that our football coaches and players, the band, cheerleaders, and the drill team all did a good job with social distancing and with wearing a face covering, but he also wanted me to know that the UIL expects our fans to do a better job with these same requirements in the future.
“The Deputy Director indicated that UIL does not want to be in the position of shutting down sports across the state, but that could be an option if fans do not do a better job of social distancing and wearing a facial covering during games.
“To help support and encourage social distancing, the District will be blocking off alternating rows in bleachers. These rows will be taped off, and spectators will be prohibited from sitting on these rows. We are also going to be asking people to spread out across all sections of seating, including the open air suite located at the northwest corner of Bulldog Field.
“In addition to supporting social distancing at all District sports venues, we need the help of Bulldog fans by wearing a face covering when you are seated at Bulldog Field or in any of our gyms. We want to keep our fans and our athletes safe, and we want to have full seasons of athletic and academic competitions. Join us by wearing a facial covering, and staying apart, when we come together to cheer on the Bulldogs! Thank you for your assistance.”
A number of fans were seen and photographed, especially in the student section, congregating in large groups closer than six feet apart and not wearing masks.
McBurnett also said Monday, Aug. 31, the district had reported to the Texas Education Agency there were three positive COVID-19 cases during the past seven days. One was a student at Burnet High School; one a student at Bertram Elementary: and the third was a Shady Grove Elementary staff member.
As of Monday, 12 students were being quarantined due to being deemed as “close contact” to those who tested positive, in accordance with the district’s Smart Restart COVID-19 plan, McBurnett said.