Masked spectators still allowed at Aspen School District school sporting events |

Masked spectators still allowed at Aspen School District school sporting events

Fans must comply with COVID protocols or leave, according to policy reminder

As masked fans watch, Aspen High School senior Simon Holloway takes a shot against Vail Mountain School in a game Dec. 7, 2021, inside the AHS gymnasium.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

Spectators can still cheer on Aspen School District athletes so long as they wear a mask and follow current pandemic health and safety protocols, Superintendent David Baugh wrote in a Jan. 18 update clarifying COVID-19 policies for school sports. (“There have been a lot of questions about protocols for ASD athletics,” an accompanying email noted.)

“As we try to mitigate the spread of C(OVID), we are asking for your help,” Superintendent David Baugh wrote in the update. “We want to have fans at our games, but we must adhere to the current safety protocols to keep schools open and to keep students participating in their activities.”

Mask-wearing is the core protocol for indoor athletics on the Aspen School District campus. All athletes, officials, staff and spectators must wear a mask — not a bandana or buff — over the mouth and nose at all times, including during active play for athletes. Spectators at hockey games at the Aspen Ice Garden or Aspen Recreation Center must also show proof of vaccination.

Spectators at home games who don’t wear a mask or wear one improperly get one reminder before being asked to leave the gym, and games will be paused if spectators challenge the rules or refuse to follow them until those attendees leave the gym. That applies to Aspen students and families as well as visitors.

Game play is also supposed to stop if athletes don’t comply, according to a Jan. 19 email from Baugh. He assumed that would also be the case if referees did not comply, he wrote.

Repeat violations and an ongoing lack of cooperation come with more severe consequences for noncompliance, though the policy varies depending on what team the violator is rooting for, according to the Jan. 18 update.

“If (Aspen) students or parents refuse to cooperate with these safety protocols, they will lose the privilege of attending home games. … If spectators from visiting schools repeatedly violate safety protocols or are uncooperative with administration, those schools will lose the privilege of having spectators when they play in Aspen,” Baugh wrote in that update.

As for away games, health and safety policies depend mostly on the policies of the hosting school.

Those policies vary widely (some schools also have indoor mask mandates while others have none at all), so the district encourages teams “to continue being vigilant and to practice good judgment” and recommends that participants continue to wear a mask even when not mandated at other schools.

Masks are still required on buses to and from away games.

Aspen High Choir night at Denver Nuggets rescheduled

An Aspen High School Choir performance at the Denver Nuggets game on Jan. 23 has been rescheduled to March 24 “due to the surge in COVID amongst our staff and student body,” according to an update from the district shared earlier in January.

All attendees age 12 and older will be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative test for that event in Denver and all attendees age 2 and older must wear a mask.