MYRTLE BEACH — With the COVID-19 pandemic lingering and social distancing guidelines remaining in place, Horry County Schools is reducing the amount of people allowed into sporting events and requiring fans and students to purchase tickets ahead of games.
But HCS will not disclose the number of people — including athletes, coaches, fans and students — allowed into high school football stadiums amid the public health crisis.
Asked the new occupancy figures for the nine high school stadiums, HCS Spokesperson Lisa Bourcier would not release a breakdown for each school.
“Our figures for capacity with social distancing was roughly 15-20% of the totals below. The range (15-20%) is due to the amount of ADA seats and the width of the rows. As reported by the athletic directors, our new stadium capacities range from 775 people to 1150 people as capacity numbers at each school depend on the actual stadium design. These numbers include fans, players, coaches, etc.,” Bourcier wrote in an email to The Post and Courier Myrtle Beach.
The school district did, however, release the regular capacity numbers at HCS high schools:
- Aynor High – 2,300
- Carolina Forest High – 4,300
- Conway High – 5,200
- Green Sea Floyds High – 1,800
- Loris High – 3,500
- Myrtle Beach High – 4,200
- North Myrtle Beach High – 4,100
- St. James High – 4,200
- Socastee High – 3,500
Four high schools will host home games Friday night. Last week was the first week of high school football, with some games being postponed due to rain.
Six of Horry County Schools’ high schools are using Home Town Ticketing so fans and students can purchase tickets to home events, Bourcier said. The three smaller high schools — Aynor High, Loris High and Green Sea Floyds High — are not using the ticketing program, and information about how to purchase tickets at those schools are on each school’s athletic website, she said.
COVID-19 cases at Horry County Schools have continued to rise as the school began its academic year Sept. 8 with the hybrid model of instruction in brick-and-mortar schools. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control releases updated positive COVID-19 cases at all public and private schools in the state on Tuesdays and Fridays.
As of Friday morning, five Horry County schools have had less than five positive faculty cases and nine schools have reported positive student cases.
Horry County Schools plans to continue hosting sports teams, sometimes multiple teams at a time depending on the sport. Bourcier said athletic directors are in communication to make necessary schedule adjustments as needed.
“We hope that we will not have to cancel a game/sports event because of COVID-19; however, we will continue to monitor the situation,” Bourcier wrote in an email.
The district began in the hybrid instructional phase, which has and will continue into October, and students come to school in-person twice a week depending on the group they are in.
Reach Hannah Strong at 843-277-4687. Follow her on Twitter @HannahLStrong.