The team’s owner, Jerry Jones, “continues to have an aggressive approach to getting fans” at home games, even as coronavirus cases increase in the vicinity of the stadium

Texans love to brag that everything is bigger in their state – the land, the food, and this year the crowd at the Dallas Cowboys Games

The team’s five home games have a total of 128Attracted 750 fans, by far the most of all of the N.F.L. Team and nearly 20 percent of the entire league reported participation Tens of thousands more fans are expected to be at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Thursday when the Cowboys play at home for Thanksgiving, this time against Washington Football, as they have done almost every year since 1966 Team

To control the spread of the coronavirus, state rules limit the number of visitors to the stadium to half its capacity of over 100000, and no game has hit that limit. Nonetheless, the number of admissions has increased with each game, peaking at 31 in November700 8 when the Pittsburgh Steelers were in town Jerry Jones, the team owner, plans to keep selling tickets even as the number of coronavirus infections skyrockets in Tarrant County, where the Cowboys play home games

“My plan was to grow our fans as the season progressed and we followed that plan,” Jones said on Dallas Sports Talk Radio last week. “I see an ongoing aggressive approach, fans out there And that is not insensitive to the fact that we got our Covid and our outbreak.Some people will say that maybe it is, but not when you do it as safely as we do and not when we have the results that we have ”

Local and state agencies have ultimate authority over whether fans can participate in games, and the rules in Texas are more permissive than in states like California and New Jersey, where teams have played without an audience this season

But Jones’ “aggressive approach” doesn’t just contradict the other NF.L. Teams have been doing for the past few weeks, but what medical experts are saying is prudent public health, the number of cases in the county has more than quintupled than the average of 1 since the regular season began in early September500 confirmed infections occurred per day The number of people hospitalized with the coronavirus has more than tripled in this period

And last week, Tarrant County health officials said eight residents who tested positive for the virus told contact tracers they recently competed in Cowboys’ home games, it is unclear whether they were before, during, or after Games Infected The actual number may be higher as it is difficult for contact tracers to determine the source of an infection where the virus spreads rapidly

The increasing number of local cases associated with more people indoors in colder weather prompted Tarrant County Health Director Dr Vinny Taneja, to warn residents not to attend large gatherings

“Whether it is a sporting event, a demonstration or another large public gathering, there is always someone there who has Covid,” Taneja said at a briefing last week. “No matter how hard you try, people are People They are there to party, they are there to have a good time There will be some dissemination ”

Some NF.L. Teams that opened their gates to fans reversed course when cases of the virus exploded in the Denver Broncos, for example, received approval from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment in October to do around 5To have 700 spectators at Mile High Stadium However, the team said last week that increasing cases in the area had forced them to return to home-based games without fans, other teams like the Baltimore Ravens facing a team-wide outbreak with drills suspended on Monday and Tuesday were, at least temporarily, the fans stopped

Fourteen of the NF.L.The 32 teams from the Buffalo Bills to the Seattle Seahawks had no spectators this year. Another 10 teams have no more than 10000 fans allowed at a game, and some have welcomed fans for just a game or two.The Houston Texans, who face similar capacity constraints as the Cowboys and are subject to the same state regulations, averaged 12 at their games400 fans, half as many as at Cowboys games

To determine whether fans should be allowed into the stadiums, the NF.L.The chief physician of Dr Allen Sills said the league and its teams, along with local authorities and the league’s infectious disease advisors, are collecting data on positivity rates, the number of people hospitalized with Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus and the deaths from the Virus in check the regions where the teams play

“We’re not just doing this for Dallas,” Sills told reporters last week. “We’re trying to look at the data at all times and make what we think is the safest decision. This is a collaborative decision, and not entirely ours is taken in the central New York office ”

Jones said his team had taken steps to reduce the risk of infection.The air conditioning in the domed AT&T stadium draws in fresh air from the outside, and all of the air filters in the stadium were replaced and upgraded ahead of the season with the huge doors behind the end zones being with everyone Game open so a breeze can blow through The retractable roof has been open for the last two games and will be open on Thursday

Similar to how other teams have taken steps to minimize contact, fans in Dallas are required to sit in small groups or pods with friends and family and wear masks, except when eating or drinking Concession booths no longer accept cash and paper tickets have been eliminated from cars that are parked in spaces reserved for the tailgate must have a free space on both sides and the parties should not mix

However, the team has not set the number of participants as long as it does not exceed 50 percent of the stadium capacity The number of fans for each game depends on how many subscribers decide to participate and how many single-player game cards are purchased

Dr Sonja Bartolome, an intensive care doctor and infectious disease specialist at the University of Texas’ Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, said that playing in large stadiums was a medium risk compared to indoor parties, weddings and funerals, to which she attributed positive cases, “We are lucky that the stadium is huge because it allows them to get people a safer distance and there is a lot of air circulation, “she said

With another 17000 deaths among Texans by Jan. March, other experts were more skeptical

“Maybe they don’t look enough at the line and don’t understand what to expect in Dallas,” said Dr Peter Hotez, the dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor University, said of the cowboys, “If they were they would stop because it’s going to get a lot worse. I understand that football is like religion, but it isn’t the time to have fans at games ”

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Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/26/sports/football/dallas-cowboys-fans-stadium-covid.html