College World Series planning for full-capacity unmasked crowds

NCAA College World Series
NCAA College World Series(NCAA)
Updated: May. 19, 2021 at 3:28 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - NCAA’s new guidelines for championships means College World Series fans should be able to attend this year’s games as normal — without facemasks, social distancing, or seating capacity limitations.

“Beginning May 20, local public health authorities will determine fan capacities at championship events. The NCAA will not set a predetermined limit,” the NCAA said Wednesday in a tweet.

Noting the decision was subject to change “on emerging trends and science around COVID-19,” the NCAA on Wednesday cleared the way for a return to normal with its capacity update for championships. Its statement puts the onus on the Douglas County Health Department to make the final decision on any restrictions for the men’s college baseball tournament.

The county’s directed health measures and Omaha’s mask ordinance will have expired by then, “so they are good to go at full capacity,” DCHD spokesman Phil Rooney said in an email to 6 News.

“Something could always change, but (there’s) nothing to stop them now. And we hope to be able to offer vaccines at the event — still working out that one,” Rooney said.

CWS officials told 6 News they were discussing the matter in a meeting Wednesday afternoon following the NCAA announcement, then later confirmed they would follow the health department’s lead and allow full-capacity crowds to attend unmasked without socially distance seating.

The NCAA is still encouraging attendees to be cautious of COVID-19 spread.

“Each person attending an NCAA championship should make an informed decision about wearing a mask and physical distancing in keeping with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” Dr. Brian Hainline, NCAA Chief Medical Officer, said in the NCAA release.

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