Frequently Asked Questions: Governor Wolf's Targeted Mitigation Order
Dear ETSD Community:
We have received numerous questions about how the Governor’s Targeted Mitigation Order relates to schools and school board functions. We hope the information below will help answer many of those questions.
Dr. Kimberly I. Minor
Exeter Township School District Superintendent
PDE’s FAQs related to the Governor’s Targeted Mitigation Order have been posted on the Department of Health’s website:
School Specific Information:
Does the Governor's Targeted Mitigation Order apply to schools?
- The Order does not apply to classroom settings but does apply to school activities outside of the classroom that are not related to educational instruction.
- School activities and gatherings not related to educational instruction that are held indoors are limited to no more than 25 people. This includes meetings, assemblies, etc.
- Activities and gatherings held outdoors are limited to no more than 250 people.
Do the event and gathering limitations include students and staff?
Maximum occupancy includes all individuals present at the event or gathering, whether they are students, staff, or spectators.
Does the Governor's Targeted Mitigation Order apply to school sports?
Yes, the Order applies to school sports.
- Indoor sporting events and gatherings of more than 25 persons are prohibited.
- Outdoor sporting events and gatherings of more than 250 persons are prohibited.
- The maximum occupancy limit includes coaches, athletes, staff, and spectators.
See the Governor's Guidance for All Sports Permitted to Operate During the COVID-19 Disaster Emergency to Ensure the Safety and Health of Employees, Athletes and the Public for comprehensive sporting activity guidance.
Are school gyms and fitness facilities included in the Order?
Yes. All gyms and fitness facilities, while permitted to continue indoor operations, are directed to prioritize outdoor physical fitness activities.
All activities must follow masking requirements as provided by the Secretary of Health's Universal Face Coverings Order and more specifically addressed in the PA Department of Health School Guidance released July 16, 2020; must provide for social distancing of at least 6 feet; and must adhere to the indoor and outdoor gathering limitations in the Governor's Targeted Mitigation Order.
Does the Governor's Targeted Mitigation Order apply to school buses?
The Order does not apply to school buses.
The Public Health Guidance Regarding COVID-19 for Phased Reopening of Pre-k to 12 Schools includes a list of best practices for safely transporting students.
Are school board meetings considered gatherings under the Governor's Mitigation Order and can they still meet?
Yes. A school board meeting is a gathering. Meetings may be held but must follow the gathering limitations outlined in the Order if meeting in person.
Does the Order apply to school cafeterias and college dining facilities?
No. School cafeteria food services and college dining services are exempt from the Order, as those services are not considered to be a private catered event or offered by a restaurant. However, if meals are being served in a congregate setting, the Pennsylvania Department of Health recommends individuals sit at least 6 feet apart and wear face coverings when walking to and from the dining facility and when getting their food. See Public Health Guidance Regarding COVID19 for Phase Reopening of Pre-K to 12 Schools for additional guidance on social distancing in cafeterias.
Does the 25 person limit apply to per court/field or for the whole facility for large sport facilities? What if the facility has dividers set up between courts and fields?
A facility that is able to create opportunities for discrete events may have 25 people per event space as long as there is sufficient division between spaces. For example, a conference facility may utilize moveable walls to create separate spaces or sporting facilities may use floor to ceiling dividers. However, the facility must ensure that common spaces like lobby areas, bathrooms, and hallways are cleaned frequently and visitors are not congregating.
Does this apply to recreational sports?
Recreational sports must follow the current Order's limitation on events and gatherings. For indoor games or practices, 25 people or less can attend. For outdoor games or practices, 250 people or less can attend. At all times, spectators and (when not engaged in play) players should keep social distancing and wear masks.
How does this order apply to youth sports? Can my little league or children's soccer team play?
Youth sports must follow the current Order's limitation on events and gatherings. For indoor games or practices, 25 people or less can attend. For outdoor games or practices, 250 people or less can attend. At all times, spectators and (when not engaged in play) players should keep social distancing and wear masks.
Can events like basketball tournaments be held?
Yes, events like basketball tournaments can be held as long as the number of individuals does not exceed 25 in any gym or indoor area. Multiple events could be held in the same location if scheduled at different times with appropriate cleaning in between gatherings.
How does this apply to movie theaters and other multi-stage or venue facilities?
Movie theaters and other multi-stage, screen or venue facilities, may operate at 50% of the total occupancy stated on their occupancy permit, but individual showings of movies on a single screen/auditorium within a theater or multiplex (or the like for similar multi-screen, stage, or venue facilities) are individual events and are subject to the 25 person limitation. For example, for a multi-screen movie theater, the total number of people in the theater must not exceed 50% of its total occupancy AND only 25 people are allowed per individual movie showing or to view the individual screen. Single screen theaters are limited to 25 attendees.
What about conference facilities? Can a conference with 25 people per room be held?
Yes, as long as each discrete gathering adheres to the Orders. Conferences should not allow for breakout sessions that create opportunities for the mixing and mingling of attendees. Facilities should be mindful of gatherings in common spaces such as hallways, bathrooms, etc. Singular events in large indoor spaces such as craft shows may not take place unless they adhere to the 25 person limit.
Are private catered events permitted? For example, when a graduation party or wedding is held in a local hall and catered, do those events adhere to the 25 person limit or the 25 percent maximum capacity for indoor dining?
A wedding or graduation party would be considered an event and therefore limited to 25 indoors/250 outdoors. If a facility is hosting multiple, separate events, the total of those events can't exceed 25% occupancy. If the event organizer is planning to host more than 25 people in a single indoor location the event should not be held.