The Board of Heath for Story County, Iowa recommended that Iowa State prohibit fans in the stands at all fall sporting events, including football, due to the potential for coronavirus spread in such situations, numerous outlets are reporting. The board approved the recommendation Monday, and will meet again Thursday to finalize the recommendation, which would be non-binding.
“This needs to be a stand that the Board of Health takes,” Dr. John Paschen, chair of the board, said during Monday’s meeting.
“We cannot think of any way these events can be made even remotely safe with the masses of people from all over the state who routinely attend these events,” the recommendations read. “Please do it for the health of our community.”
Ultimately, the decision on whether or not spectators are allowed at events at the Ames, Iowa campus would fall to the governor. Currently, the emergency declaration in the state allows for outdoor performance venues to operate at 50% capacity.
Story County currently has just 499 confirmed cases of coronavirus, according to data available at coronavirus.iowa.gov. However, the case rate has accelerated greatly since the start of June. On June 12, the university announced that 10 student athletes had tested positive, including two football players.
Many college athletes have tested positive for coronavirus since universities have allowed students to return to campuses to work out, however the overwhelming majority have been asymptomatic. Currently, the NCAA is allowing individual workouts for student-athletes, with plans to allow team workouts beginning in July.