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Norfolk State University sets new rules for guests attending sporting events

Whether guests are attending based on vaccination status, or based on a recent negative COVID-19 test result, everyone will have to wear face masks.

NORFOLK, Va. — There are new health and safety rules for people who want to go to sporting events at Norfolk State University.

Because of a rise in COVID-19 cases in Virginia, the university decided to cap attendance for at-home matches at 60%, and the people who do come must either be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours.

NSU’s Assistant Athletics Director for Communications, Matt Michalec, said the vaccination or testing requirement isn’t new to NSU Athletics. It’s something they introduced during the football season.  

“For our fans who’ve been coming to basketball games this season and also during football, not a lot has changed," Michalec said. "The main new protocol in place is that we are limited capacity to 60%"

But although there will be fewer people allowed in, Michalec said it won't affect the game.

“It’s about 2,700 fans. So we’re still able to have a pretty good sized crowd, but just trying to limit it a little bit to try and keep everybody as safe and healthy as possible," he said.

As for the testing or vaccination requirement, you'll have to show your proof before you can sit down for the game.

"There will be some checkpoints around the outside of the arena as well as just inside, to be able to check folks vaccination cards or that negative COVID test," Michalec explained. "Hopefully it won’t be that much of a new thing for fans who have been coming to Spartan games all year.” 

This follows two weeks where Virginia has seen the highest numbers of new coronavirus infections during the entire pandemic.

If you need to take a COVID-19 test, two new centers opened this week in Hampton Roads to offer PCR tests. You need appointments to get tested at the centers in Norfolk or Newport News.

NSU's standards for being "fully vaccinated" don't include having a booster shot, but the university does recommend those.

Whether guests are attending based on vaccination or based on a negative test result, everyone will have to wear face masks.

NSU said on Monday that the campus would still offer some concessions.

The changes go into effect on Jan. 12 at the men's basketball game against Delaware State.

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