“Whether or not it’s a sporting occasion, whether or not it’s an indication or another giant public gathering, there’s at all times any individual there who has Covid,” Taneja mentioned at a briefing final week. “Regardless of how laborious you strive, persons are folks. They’re there to have a good time, they’re there to have a superb time. You’re going to have some unfold happen.”
Some N.F.L. groups that had opened their gates to followers have reversed course as circumstances of the virus skyrocket. The Denver Broncos, as an example, obtained clearance in October from the Colorado Division of Public Well being and Setting to have round 5,700 spectators at Mile Excessive Stadium, however the staff mentioned final week that rising circumstances within the space pressured them to return to enjoying house video games with out followers. Different groups just like the Baltimore Ravens, dealing with a team-wide outbreak that shut down practices on Monday and Tuesday, stopped admitting followers altogether, at the very least briefly.
Fourteen of the N.F.L.’s 32 groups, from the Buffalo Payments to Seattle Seahawks, haven’t had spectators this yr. One other 10 groups have allowed not more than 10,000 followers at a recreation, and a few have welcomed followers for just one or two video games. The Houston Texans, who face comparable capability limits because the Cowboys and are topic to the identical state orders, have averaged 12,400 followers at their video games, half as many as there are at Cowboys video games.
To find out whether or not to allow followers within the stadiums, the N.F.L.’s chief medical officer, Dr. Allen Sills, mentioned the league and its groups, together with native authorities and the league’s infectious illness consultants, evaluation information on positivity charges, the variety of folks hospitalized with Covid-19, the illness brought on by the coronavirus, and deaths from the virus within the areas the place the groups play.
“We try this not only for Dallas,” Sills advised reporters final week. “We strive to take a look at the info in every cut-off date and make what we expect is the most secure resolution. That’s a collaborative resolution that’s not made strictly by us within the central New York workplace.”
However absent any prohibition from a neighborhood authorities, the choice finally rests with staff house owners.