College sports venues can partly reopen Friday amid COVID pandemic

Siena's Jalen Pickett at the Alumni Recreation Center in January in front empty stands with cardboard cutouts. 
PHOTOGRAPHER:

Siena's Jalen Pickett at the Alumni Recreation Center in January in front empty stands with cardboard cutouts. 

ALBANY — Another tiny step toward normalcy in the era of COVID was announced Tuesday: partial reopening of college sports venues.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that starting Friday, large-scale collegiate venues (those that seat over 1,500 indoors or over 2,500 outdoors) can fill 10% of seats if indoors and 20% of seats if outdoors.

As always, there are a phalanx of conditions and restrictions, most notably the requirement that every fan present proof of recent negative COVID test result or completed vaccination.

And there are the multipart conditions and restrictions that often accompany reopenings in New York:

Smaller-scale college sports venues can host fans at a maximum of either two spectators per player or 100 spectators indoors or 200 spectators outdoors.

Or, if each and every attendee proves immunization or negative COVID status, the spectator limit jumps to 150 indoors and 500 outdoors.

But in no case shall attendance exceed 50% of designed capacity.

Got all that?

“COVID has had a devastating effect on many aspects of our lives, and college athletics was not immune,” Cuomo said in a news release. “While athletes have been able to resume competition in recent months, it hasn’t been the same without fans in the stands cheering them on. Thanks to the hard work of New Yorkers, we are now in a place where we can begin allowing them to return to games as well.”

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS

In other COVID news Tuesday:

  • Schenectady County announced it will hold three COVID vaccination events at SUNY Schenectady County on April 6, 8 and 9. Approximately 550 doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be available each day, and anyone age 16 or older is eligible starting April 6. Appointments are required and can be made online at the county website.
  • WellNow Urgent Care will begin distributing vaccine at its Clifton Park, Latham and Saratoga Springs clinics on Wednesday. Appointments are required and are available at WellNow’s webpages for each of the facilities. Anyone age 30 or older is eligible through April 5.
  • The seven-day average positive COVID test rate stood at 3.4% statewide, 2.4% in the Capital Region and 1.6% in the Mohawk Valley. At the county level, the rate was Albany 2.2%, Fulton 3.5%, Montgomery 4.6%, Rensselaer 1.6%, Saratoga 3.0%, Schenectady 2.9% and Schoharie 1.2%.
  • Statewide, 4,715 people were hospitalized with COVID, including 108 in the Capital Region and 52 in the Mohawk Valley.
  • The official state death toll gained 61 names and stood at 40,451. One of the new deaths was in Saratoga County.

Categories: -The Daily Gazette, News, Schenectady County

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