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Penn State Athletics announces new attendance policies at home games due to coronavirus

Effective today, attendance will be limited to players, essential personnel, families of players, media, and Penn State recruits, the school said Wednesday.
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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — In the wake of news that Penn State University has moved to remote-only classes through April 3 as a precaution against coronavirus, the school's athletics department announced Wednesday that all Penn State home competitions and practices will be conducted as scheduled, but attendance at those events will be limited.

The following measures will be in place effective Wednesday, March 11 through Friday, April 3, the athletics department said. After April 3, the policies will be re-evaluated.

  • All Penn State home competitions and practices will occur as originally scheduled.
  • Attendance at all Penn State home athletic events will be limited (for both Penn State and its opponents) to:
    • Essential personnel as designated by Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics
    • Participating student-athletes, coaches and staff
    • Families of participating student-athletes, coaches and staff
    • Media
    • Penn State recruits

"We regret that our fans will not be able to attend the affected home events," the athletics department said in a press release. "However, many of those competitions will be shown live on Big Ten Network, the ESPN family of networks or BTN2Go.

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"Please know that these measures were taken with an abundance of caution for the health and well-being of our student-athletes, staff, community and event guests as the priority. Penn State Athletics will continue to take direction from the University and its COVID-19 task force that meets daily to assess the coronavirus situation and its effect on our campus and community, with recommendations from health authorities and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation during this unusual time."

Penn State said it will offer refunds to fans who have already purchased tickets for Saturday's Big Ten men's hockey semifinal between the Nittany Lions and Minnesota.

A communication will be forthcoming to all of those who have purchased through Penn State or Minnesota ticket offices or TicketMaster for the event, the athletics department said.

Fans who already have purchased tickets to any affected competition can contact the Penn State Ticket Office at 1-800-NITTANY with questions.

Fan attendance at road competitions will be in coordination with the respective opponents’ attendance policies, the school added.

The University has established a website that offers the latest information and guidance to the Penn State community. For more information, please go to: https://sites.psu.edu/virusinfo/.

Penn State Athletics are taking preventive measures, the athletics department said.

These include but are not limited to:

  • Cleaning and disinfecting of exposed surfaces.
  • Posted reminders to cover coughing and sneezing and to frequently wash hands with soap and water.
  • Providing hand sanitizer stations throughout the facility.

Guests attending Penn State Athletics events are strongly urged to observe the following recommendations:

  • Stay at home if you are sick.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Thoroughly wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60-95 percent alcohol, if soap and water aren’t available.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Refrain from shaking hands, high-fives and other close personal contact.