For those who may have been tricked into thinking that sanity had begun working its way into how the sports world is confronting the coronavirus, think again.
On Thursday, the Cleveland Cavaliers announced that they have instituted a mask requirement for all fans at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse beginning at the age of 2.
“Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse will now require that all fans (ages 2 and over) attending events, including Cleveland Cavaliers and Cleveland Monsters games, wear a mask that covers both mouth and nose when inside the venue and in their seats unless actively eating or drinking,” the statement read.
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) December 30, 2021
The statement continued, “The decision to implement the requirement is a result of continued monitoring of the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in Cuyahoga County and throughout the country in conjunction with close consultation with local health experts. The mask requirement is currently scheduled to be in effect through January 31, 2022.”
The Cavs pointed out that the mask requirements may not be the only new coronavirus-related protocol that fans may have to contend with. In addition, the statement made it clear that “outside event promoters” could also require proof of vaccination.
CLEVELAND, OH – APRIL 10: Fans sit social distanced in the stands before the start of the Cleveland Cavaliers home game against the Toronto Raptors at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on April 10, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Lauren Bacho/Getty Images)
“In addition to the mask requirement, individual outside event promoters may require further protocols at their discretion, such as proof of vaccine or a negative COVID test,” the statement read. “Ticketed guests will receive a direct email communication that outlines the specific health and safety protocols for the event they are attending. Protocols will also be posted on each show’s designated event page at RocketMortgageFieldHouse.com.”
Cleveland’s first game under the new mask requirement will be Friday night, New Year’s Eve.