Band camps ‘gray area’ when it comes to COVID-19 safety plans; student tests positive at South Allegheny band camp

MCKEESPORT, Pa. — Students and parents were told not to report to South Allegheny band camp after a someone associated with the program tested positive for COVID-19.

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The rules are in place for athletes, coaches and officials, but a gray area remains for school bands when it comes to coronavirus safety plans. There’re no rules yet when it comes to whether or not they will be allowed on high school sports trips.

“Everything is pretty much day-to-day,” the Deer Lakes director of bands Chris Snyder said.

Snyder is also president of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Marching Band Association. He said preparing for this school year has been a challenge.

“We just really want to try to introduce or supplement some sort of a source of normalcy for these kids,” he said.

But things keep changing quickly.

Monday morning, Channel 11 received a letter that was sent to parents of children in the South Allegheny band camp informing them that someone associated with the program tested positive for COVID-19. School leaders alerted people to not report to band camp and that more details would be coming in the next day.

Right now, all schools are following the state guidelines, which read in part “during the yellow and green phases of reopening, sports-related activities at the PK-12 level are limited to student athletes, coaches, officials, and staff only.”

After speaking with WPIAL officials, whether or not high school bands fall into that category just does not have a clear answer.