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Concerns About COVID-19 Spread Present At Start Of High School Football Season

MCKEESPORT, Pa. (KDKA) -- Friday night football is back.

For the first time since the 2019 season, coaches and players were on the field and fans were in the stands. But as COVID-19 cases rise, there are still some concerns about the spread.

On a hot and humid Friday night, fans packed the stadium to see McKeeesport play Baldwin.

fans in stands
(Photo Credit: KDKA)

"I'm very excited to have my son, No. 4, on the field. I'm happy we can be here in COVID. This is awesome," said Charde Brooks of McKeesport.

"When I turn around and see some of these folks I didn't see last year, it's a nice feeling to have," said McKeesport Athletic Director Charley Kiss. "They are able to come back and support their hometown team."

It was a much different scene than in 2020, when games were played in front of mostly empty stands.

"It was very difficult last year," Kiss said.

The athletic director said the team is taking precautions and prepared for if COVID-19 hits. Athletes must wear masks on buses. Social distance is not required, and there are no masking rules for fans.

Harold Allen of McKeesport did not feel comfortable in the stands after getting COVID-19 last year.

"I'm here. I got my shots. I have my mask on. I'm doing social distancing and washing my hands as you should be," Allen said.

Some hope the spread of COVID-19 subsides, and the season goes off without a hitch.

The WPIAL said Friday that one game was impacted by COVID-19 and moved to Saturday.

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