Fans to return to GABP: Gov. DeWine announces attendance policy for Reds

Updated: Feb. 25, 2021 at 2:36 PM EST
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Fans will be allowed in the stands of MLB games this season in Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine announced.

Thirty percent capacity will be allowed at Great American Ballpark this upcoming season, the governor announced Thursday.

Masks will be mandatory for workers and fans, Gov. DeWine said.

Unless eating or drinking, the Reds say fans will have to wear a mask that is covering the nose and mouth.

Fans at outdoor sporting events will be seated in pods, he stated.

The pods will contain no more than six people and will be socially distanced, Gov. DeWine explained.

Opening Day for the Reds is April 1 against the St. Louis Cardinals.

“We are excited to welcome fans back to the ballpark to kick off the season on Opening Day,” said Reds President and Chief Operating Officer Phil Castellini. “We thank Gov. DeWine and the officials at the City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County for their guidance and cooperation throughout the planning process.”

Aside from wearing masks and pod-style seating, here are some of the other measures the Reds will implement this season:

  • All tickets will be issued digitally via the MLB Ballpark app to allow for contactless entry.
  • Contactless and cashless forms of payment at concessions and merchandise stands.
  • New bag policy prohibiting backpacks.

Capacity at indoor events is limited to 25%.

“This is a start,” Gov. DeWine said Thursday. “If the situation improves in spring/summer, this [capacity] could be expanded.”

The concern, like the governor said Monday, is still the COVID-19 variant.

Lowering the allowed capacity at events could happen if the variant becomes problematic.

“The variant could become dominant in Ohio by the latter part of March,” the governor said Monday.

Guidance for events like prom, wedding receptions, fairs, and festivals will be coming soon, Gov. DeWine said.

With 310,000 first doses of the vaccine in the state next week, Ohio will be adding more providers.

Additional providers will include some Meijer and Walmart locations, the governor said. Providers currently offering the COVID-19 vaccine will also receive more doses.

More than 91,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine could be available next week, based on information Gov. DeWine said he received from the federal government.

[ COVID-19 vaccine: When you can get it, how to sign up, and where to get it ]

Residents ages 65 and older are currently eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in Ohio.

On Thursday, the Ohio Department of Health reported 2,409 new cases of COVID-19.

Ohio has seen a total of 692,404 cases of the virus, ODH reports.

Eighty more Ohioans died in the last 24 hours from the virus, according to ODH. To date, 17,125 people in Ohio have died from COVID-19, according to the data from ODH.

163 more people were hospitalized and another 21 were admitted to the ICU because of COVID-19.

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