Football Goes on in N.Y. Despite Pandemic Limits on School, Work

Buffalo Bills fans will be allowed to attend the second home playoff game in person, after the success of New York’s pilot plan for last week’s game, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Monday.

The announcement comes as coronavirus cases statewide continue to climb, businesses and schools are closed in parts of the state, and hospital capacity is being closely monitored.

Cuomo touted the success of the pilot program, which allowed fans to attend the Jan. 9th game, saying it “went smoothly.” He has said the program could be a model for other businesses to reopen.

The Bills, the only AFC East team that hasn’t won a Super Bowl, are known for their rambunctious and defensive “Bills Mafia” fans. After years playing in the shadow of the New England Patriots, the Bills are having their best season in decades. The team is 13-3 and favored ahead of the Jan. 16 match against the Baltimore Ravens.

The approximately 6,700 people attending the game must adhere to social distancing, wear masks, and obtain a negative Covid-19 test result prior to the game, Cuomo said.

Of 203,904 tests reported on Sunday, 6.72%, or 13,714, were positive including hot spot areas, according to state data. There were 8,645 hospitalizations, up 161 from the day prior, and 170 virus-related fatalities on Sunday.

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