Ahead of Friday night football in western Pa., the Department of Education sent out a letter to school districts saying they're responsible for enforcing masks and social distancing.

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

HARRISBURG (KDKA) – The Wolf administration is encouraging districts to “voluntarily enforce” gathering limits after a federal judge ruled the governor’s pandemic restrictions unconstitutional.

Ahead of Friday night football, the Department of Education reminded districts that the federal ruling isn’t a “blanket end” to mitigation efforts. Instead it addressed the early stay-at-home order, business closures and the 25-person indoor, 250-person outdoor gathering limits.

Many orders, including mandatory face coverings, still stand, and the Wolf administration says it’s the school’s job to enforce masks and social distancing at all school events.

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“The administration encourages schools to voluntarily enforce the 25- person indoor and 250-person outdoor gathering limitation while all of us wait for the court to rule on the stay request,” a letter from the Department of Education to districts reads.

“We trust that school leaders understand the critical importance of maintaining the health and safety of our school communities, and further trust that they will continue to maintain strong social distancing and face covering policies necessary to contain and mitigate this virus.”

This message comes as at least two local schools have said they’re opening up their stadium to more than 250 people.

Butler Area Superintendent Brian White says they’re opening their stadium up to more than 250 people for their first home game tonight.

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In fact, they’re anticipating around 750 people to show up, which is a fraction of what the stadium can hold at 6,800. The superintendent says the band, about 200 of them, will be spread out on the visitor side.

The Karns City Area School District recently announced spectators are now permitted at their sporting events effective immediately. They require fans to wear masks, social distance and practice CDC guidelines.

Meanwhile, the office of Attorney General Josh Shapiro asked a federal judge to retain the governor’s limits on crowd size for now, warning allowing large gatherings “will result in people’s deaths” from the coronavirus. The Wolf administration is planning to appeal the ruling.