Update: Crowd Size Limits for PA School Sports and Events Are Now Enforceable

October 2, 2020Alerts

The United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania issued a decision finding that several of the executive orders issued by Governor Wolf in the effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 are unconstitutional, including the executive order that limited the size of gatherings (see our previous Alert for details). On October 1, 2020, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals stayed the District Court decision, which means Governor Wolf has the authority to enforce the executive order while the Court of Appeals reviews the District Court decision.

By way of background, the Governor’s executive order, which was issued on July 15, 2020, provides that all events are limited to 25 people for events held inside and 250 people for events held outside, which includes all attendees and participants at events. This order applies to sports events and other gatherings on school property.

As a result, schools should prepare to comply with the group size limits imposed by the Governor in terms of sports and other events. To the extent that your district is located in a county that has imposed a different standard, schools need be aware that it is likely that counties can create a more stringent standard than the state has, but not a less stringent one. Lastly, schools will also want to review and comply with any directive from any governing body related to the activity in question, such as PIAA, related to crowd sizes to the extent such a directive imposes a stricter standard than the Governor’s order.

For more information about this alert, please contact Timothy E. Gilsbach at 610.397.2206 or [email protected]rothschild.com, or any member of the firm’s Education Practice Group.