By Ray Hamill — A petition in favor of allowing spectators to immediately return to local high school sporting events has been signed by more than 2,000 fans in just a few days.
The petition was started late last week after the local district superintendents voted 6-4 to hold H-DNL sporting events behind closed doors for two weeks because of concerns over the recent spike in COVID numbers.
A rally was also held on Monday outside the Northern Humboldt Union High School District office as the “Let Them Play Humboldt” movement continues to build momentum again.
“The mental health impact of taking away sports far outweighs the risks associated with COVID in our schools,” the petition reads. “The mitigation strategies that have been in place since last year are more than enough to allow spectators in the stands.”
According to the league, the local district superintendents made the decision last week in an attempt to avoid having to close schools for any length of time.
But, according to the petition, “The mitigation strategies that have been in place since last year are more than enough to allow spectators in the stands. Our Public Health doctor has stated that we need to look at hospitalizations NOT case counts.”
The H-DNL athletic directors are scheduled to meet on Wednesday, but any reversal of last week’s decision would have to be approved by the district superintendents.
Friday was the first day games around the H-DNL were played without any fans in attendance, and the no spectator mandate is scheduled to run until Jan. 23.
H-DNL Commissioner Jack Lakin said the league will continue to monitor the situation along with information from county health officials and that they will take into consideration input from community members.
The petition can be accessed here.
As of Tuesday afternoon, a total of 2,008 people have signed the petition.